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'Make It Stick - Book We Recommend'

The Science of Successful Learning


Make It Stick is a book by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel, on strategies, tools and stories for teachers, learners and trainers for effective learning. The book offers the following five concrete techniques to honing our memory:


Retrieving - practice retrieving new (and old) learning (self-quizzing).

Spacing - space out retrieval practice, leave time to forget in between practice sessions.

Generation - attempt to answer a question or solve a problem before looking at the answer (experiential learning).

Reflection - a combination of retrieval practice and elaboration that adds layers to learning new material. Ask ourselves questions.

Calibration - to avoid various cognitive illusions, use an objective instrument to adjust your sense of what you know and don't know.

Many common study habits and practice routines unfortunately are the opposite of productive. Mugging up, repetition, rereading and underlighting of new information false sense of mastery, but whatever learned fades away quickly.


More durable learning can be done through self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice. Make It Stick is a book that will appeal to most groups of teachers and students and will definitely take up the attention of those who are looking to make a life-long commitment to keep on learning and improve their way of learning as well.


This book is a must-read for teachers and students alike.


This article originally appeared in the TeacherTribe Magazine July 2020 edition.

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