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Mind – Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits – NYTimes.com


A few highlights and notes in the category,  "Everything You Know is Wrong in Education"
.  (I use Diigo to gather notes and use articles as touchstones to thought.  If you think this is inappropriate for Coop Cat just let me know.)

  •  

    • sketchy education research that doesn’t offer clear guidance

      • Hmmmmm. another crack at ed research perhaps without warrant or maybe…

    • simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention.

    • studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing

    • In a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found almost zero support for such ideas. “The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing,” the researchers concluded.

      • Everything you know is wrong.  That seems to be my new mantra.  Or perhaps it should be everything I know might be wrong.

    • Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.

    • when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,

    • Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.

    • When the neural suitcase is packed carefully and gradually, it holds its contents for far, far longer. An hour of study tonight, an hour on the weekend, another session a week from now: such so-called spacing improves later recall, without requiring students to put in more overall study effort or pay more attention, dozens of studies have found.

    • That’s one reason cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future.

    • But if they studied the passage just once and did a practice test in the second session, they did very well on one test two days later, and another given a week later.

      • Yes, this is a way to make testing work.

    • we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.”

      • Yes, it is called FEEDBACK, duh.

I am never quite sure how much to trust NYT research, but at least it had a couple of links to journals.  Implications for my own composition classroom suggest I should move around, use testing as feedback not assessment, and ignore or de-emphasize learning styles.  I’ll let you know how that goes. 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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About tellio

This website will be dedicated to the miscellany of living la vida English. The audience will be weblog companero: students, teachers, and fellow travellers down this road barely trampled. I will be adding occasional posts about where I am going, where you might be going, or wherever I please. The map ain't the damn territory. I am doing this because I know it makes me feel better about the trip if I have a notebook along with me. All the better to make it digital and public.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Mind – Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits – NYTimes.com

  1. My relationship with the NYT (in general) and its reporting on education research (in particular) is like a bad marriage: we know each other well, can predict each other’s moves, and our fights feel tiresomely familiar. Haven’t we been through all this before? Are we just staying together for the kids?

    Glad you found the journal links. It’s good to get out.

    Posted by Kirsten Olson | September 28, 2010, 12:54 pm
  2. This is the research and practice on learning that I would like to unleash on American public education, its scheduling habits, and it’s contention that there’s just not enough time in the day for kids to have fun:

    School crams four months of learning into just EIGHT minute lessons.

    Have at it.
    C

    Posted by Chad Sansing | September 30, 2010, 1:50 pm
  3. Studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing, [improves retention]–snip from article.

    I know that when I am trying to put together a unit, I have to search far and wide–like perusing the cooperative for relevant information–before my mind can make the links that will allow me to construct and remember my argument. Maybe students will remember better if they are encouraged to explore relevantly.

    “The inclusion of a ten-minute break doing something fun helps us remember because it keeps our brains active instead of doing something boring and forgetting what we have done.”–snip from Chad’s article.

    This might also go along with some of the benefits of the connected world. If classrooms are set up with instruction for eight minutes followed by ten minutes of creative use of technology–either downtime or relevant exploration–long term learning might result.

    Thanks

    Posted by Tommy Buteau | July 22, 2011, 2:28 am

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