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How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens | [Benedict Carey]

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens

From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital. But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong?
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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow comes a practical, playful, and endlessly fascinating guide to what we really know about learning and memory today - and how we can apply it to our own lives.

From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital.

But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong? And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort?

In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information. What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can altering your routine improve your recall? Are there times when distraction is good? Is repetition necessary? Carey's search for answers to these questions yields a wealth of strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives - and less of a chore. In How We Learn, Benedict Carey shows us how to exploit its quirks to our advantage.

©2014 Benedict Carey (P)2014 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (156 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mercedes Quilmes, Argentina 01-16-15
    Mercedes Quilmes, Argentina 01-16-15 Member Since 2014

    Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "really well documented and powerful book!"
    Would you listen to How We Learn again? Why?

    No, because it's informative, I did take notes though! great studying tips!


    What other book might you compare How We Learn to and why?

    There a lot of books talking about how the brain works... this one FOCUS on studying and remembering and quotes/explains a lot of past experiments


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, although it got kind of tedious for some moments


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    nop, but it did surprise me some points!


    Any additional comments?

    EXCELLENT RESEARCH

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Winchester, KY, United States 12-26-14
    Charles Winchester, KY, United States 12-26-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting & Evidence Supported Perspectives"

    Benedict Carey offers some interesting insights of the learning process in some non-traditional but evidence supported methods. Even though I have studied learning and educational psychology some, I was not familiar with some of the research Carey offered. Some of the insights helped me to understand a few of the observations I had made in my professional degree program students over the years. Indeed, some of this content will be woven into recommendations for future courses. I rated everything as a 4-star for this book because of tending to be stingy with 5s. If available, 4.5s would have been perfect. If you are an educator at the secondary level or higher, I recommend this book. It could change the way you do things or the evidence presented therein could prove to be the impetus behind your own creative strategies for your students or even adult learners.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J S 01-10-15
    J S 01-10-15

    I love to read!

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    "A must read for every educator!!!"

    Write in laymen's terms this book really simplifies brain theory and gives you practical ways to apply what you have learned. A great investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Milliron Northern California 02-07-15
    Donna Milliron Northern California 02-07-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Good information"

    Easy listening, great info and insights. So many of my beliefs were wrong about the best way to learn. Enlightening read,

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Solangi 04-23-15
    Solangi 04-23-15 Member Since 2015
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    "better option than reading the book"

    The narration was pretty good. I like that there's an option to increase the speed..ans like the title says, it's better than reading the book. I don't enjoy reading books, however i found myself to be distracted often and missing some sections here and there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachael A Ryan Watertown, CT USA 04-08-15
    Rachael A Ryan Watertown, CT USA 04-08-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Very interesting and informative"

    I am a high school teacher and coach and I learned a great deal from this book and it had changed they way I teach and coach. What I really liked about the book is how it turned conventional wisdom about leaning on its head. For example he talks about how you have to forget to leave. Meaning that forgetting is an important part of learning new things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise 02-12-15
    Denise 02-12-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Finally some good info!"

    I hope there is a lot more to know about learning than this, but Mr Carey did a fine job of detailing what he was able to find. It seems psychology has been avoiding this topic. There are some great tidbits of information here that you can really use to streamline your own learning AND some reassurance on the concerns you may have about your own children's study habits. Thanks - And bring us more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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