Learning Strategies That Work

Did you know that there are learning strategies that have been shown by research to be effective, some dating back over 100 years? I can never do any of them justice writing about those studies here, so it is better off I provide links to works by people who can do a much better job of it than I can. All of the descriptions provided are my own.


The Learning Scientists – A group of cognitive scientists whose mission it is to promote effective learning strategies. If there is only one website you will visit, it should be this one. (Twitter)

Retrieval Practice – Run by Dr. Pooja Agarwal, the website is filled with resources and useful guides to engage students in retrieval practice (the process of getting information out of memory; the more you do it, the more durable and longer-lasting the memory). (Twitter)

Effortful Educator – Run by Blake Harvard, a psychology teacher in Alabama, whose blog debunks myths, provides classroom strategies, and discusses the need for a paradigm shift in education. (Twitter)

A Chemical Orthodoxy – Run by Adam Boxer, a chemistry teacher in Great Britain. His blog take a critical (but healthy) look at some of the faults of educational practice. He also discusses evidence-based teaching practice and provides tools for teachers seeking to improve their pedagogy. (Twitter)


Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning – This book takes the relatively complicated science of cognitive psychology and presents it in an easy-to-read novel-like format.

Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom – If I were to quote the most poignant points of this book, I would end up copying half of the text, which falls into the realm of plagiarism and copyright infringement. So I won’t. This book does a little bit of everything: debunks myths, suggests alternatives, and explains what makes effective learning effective.

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning – This book is the product of an ongoing collaboration between a classroom teacher and a cognitive scientist. This book is a treasure trove of novel strategies that promote effective learning.

Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide – This book uses a scientific model of memory to help teachers and students in the learning process by creating a memory, storing it, and retrieving it. It is loaded with many pictures for those who are visual learners (just kidding!).



This list is hardly exhaustive. I will add more as time and energy permit. Do you know of a good website, book, or blog? Please comment below.

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