via NYTimes: Forget What You Know about Study Habits

This piece by Benedict Carey had some surprises for me.  I didn’t know, for example, that simply changing the location in which one studies seems to improve retention of what’s learned there.  I did know (thanks to Shirley Yu) that there was not a whole lot of support for the idea of “learning styles,” but I was interested to see that varying the type of material found in a presentation would help students remember it.  It makes me wonder: how much of what we do as teachers is based on what we’re familiar with, as opposed to what works?



2 Comments on “via NYTimes: Forget What You Know about Study Habits”

  1. jgarson says:

    I am happy to learn that “learning styles” is bunk, but the upshot of my previous concern about that for my teaching still holds. Present material in as many different ways as you can. That is supported by the literature.

    A disturbing theme in this article is to liken learning to filling a suitcase. (Sigh!)

  2. Dave Mazella says:

    I hadn’t noticed that, Jim, but these kinds of metaphors really do affect how we and our students approach learning. I can easily imagine a student telling me something like that, or using an image like “toolkit,” or what have you. What would be your alternative metaphors?

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