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8 Reviews
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's different & gives much to reflect on
I agree with IG Scott but decided to give it 4 stars instead of three. Whilst I too found the anecdotes lengthy and tiresome I felt the points being made were worth another star (but not 5 stars which looks like a "paid for review"). The ideas & techniques being proposed are counterintuitive and I haven't come across these ideas before so I am excited to try and...
Published 7 months ago by In My Opinion

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to research-based learning skills
The first time I heard a trainer de-bunking the idea of Visual/Audio/Kinesthetic learning styles, in around 2005, ("Kinesthetic learners? That's what people say when they mean 'naughty kids', isn't it?") it was as if the vicar had used the "F" word - shocking but also rather liberating. Since then there have been more and more attacks on ideas about learning and memory...
Published 8 months ago by IG Scott


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to research-based learning skills, 11 May 2014
This review is from: Make It Stick (Kindle Edition)
The first time I heard a trainer de-bunking the idea of Visual/Audio/Kinesthetic learning styles, in around 2005, ("Kinesthetic learners? That's what people say when they mean 'naughty kids', isn't it?") it was as if the vicar had used the "F" word - shocking but also rather liberating. Since then there have been more and more attacks on ideas about learning and memory which have become accepted by learners and teachers, but which never really had any basis in research. Peter Brown credits VAK and Multiple Intelligence theories as having encouraged greater variety in the classroom, before politely dismissing them as learning myths, along with multi-coloured highlighting and intensive re-reading.

Brown lists the things which do work, always with the emphasis on "retrieval" of memories: spacing out practice sessions so that "forgetting" has started; mixing up the practice of different skills; introducing "desirable difficulty" into your practising sessions; trying to work out problems before you have had the explanation or answer; good old mnemonics. All of this is amply illustrated by examples and anecdotes, and this is where I started to get impatient. Several authors on learning (Gladwell, Sayed, Dweck, Lemov) have made the link between academic learning and practical skills, and I was initially excited to discover strong links between my own discipline (foreign languages) and, for example, ball sports. But "Make it Stick" has so many lengthy anecdotes to make each point, that I started to find it repetitive. For those just starting to read about research-based study skills, I imagine the anecdotes would help to make Brown's points "stick". Others might prefer to jump straight to the "Takeaway" section at the end of each chapter. It also seemed to me that most of the anecdotes related to fields of physical, practical learning, such as flying planes, military strategy, surgery and business. Although Brown occasionally includes brief examples from abstract or complex academic fields such as foreign languages or mathematics, the way he sounded over-impressed by a gardener's ability to remember Latin plant names made me suspect he had never investigated how to achieve fluency in a foreign language, for example.

That said, there is plenty of good advice here for motivated students who really want to know what works. I'll request a copy for the school library, but I won't be keeping one for myself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's different & gives much to reflect on, 9 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Make It Stick (Kindle Edition)
I agree with IG Scott but decided to give it 4 stars instead of three. Whilst I too found the anecdotes lengthy and tiresome I felt the points being made were worth another star (but not 5 stars which looks like a "paid for review"). The ideas & techniques being proposed are counterintuitive and I haven't come across these ideas before so I am excited to try and integrate these into my teaching. However, as IG Scott points out, you have to wade through lengthy, repetitive anecdotes to get to the next idea and I agree - go straight to the "takeaway" at the end of each chapter. The trick now for me is to plan my lessons and see if I can integrate some of these ideas into my lessons.Also, as the Brown points out, even in the face of success with these techniques people still think the "old" techniques are better for them, so you may face opposition from the learner. How bizarre is that?

It's a stimulating read - just flick through the repetitive bits and extract the good bits to reflect on.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid guesswork & intuition, 15 May 2014
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David Didau "Didau" (Bristol) - See all my reviews
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This is book that badly needed writing and very fortunately it isn't badly written.

The science of how we learn is deeply counter-intuitive and this book sets out not only why what we believe is often wrong, but how to implement strategies to get the very best out of our students.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So I decided to buy this book which is unfortunately repetitive and quite boring. But learning how to learn can help you ..., 11 Sept. 2014
I first read several articles and watched video lectures on Youtube by Roediger, Dunlosky and Karpicke and I found the topic really interesting. So I decided to buy this book which is unfortunately repetitive and quite boring.
But learning how to learn can help you to study more effectively and while trying to put the theory into practice I was pleasantly surprised by the results...So I really recommend the study skills discussed in this book and that is the reason I have given it 5 stars.
You can probably learn everything you need to know from these video lectures which are neither repetitive nor boring.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A accessible starting point for the cognitive science field, 19 Oct. 2014
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Alex Quigley (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Make It Stick (Kindle Edition)
This book attempts to synthesize a great deal of cognitive science using accessible stories to illuminate the research. It does the job well and it is a very useful start if you are not familiar with the field of cognitive psych. Good for educators in particular.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Jan. 2015
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good reference and helpful for working in training
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ... I was hoping to get a book that was easy to learn from, 8 Sept. 2014
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Mr. Andrew Malcolm (UK) - See all my reviews
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I have to say I was hoping to get a book that was easy to learn from. These guys have written this in such a bad way--full of hard words to read that only serve to distract the learner such as me whose attention span wonders when I don't understand. Give this one a miss !
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Make It Stick (Kindle Edition)
Super book. Buy it. You will not be disappointed
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Make It Stick
Make It Stick by Peter C. Brown
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