Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong

Wired:

Taking notes during class? Topic-focused study? A consistent learning environment? All are exactly opposite the best strategies for learning.

Really, I recently had the good fortune to interview Robert Bjork, director of the UCLA Learning and Forgetting Lab, distinguished professor of psychology, and massively renowned expert on packing things in your brain in a way that keeps them from leaking out. And it turns out that everything I thought I knew about learning is wrong.

Here’s what he said.

First, think about how you attack a pile of study material. “People tend to try to learn in blocks,” says Bjork, “mastering one thing before moving on to the next.” But instead he recommends interleaving, a strategy in which, for example, instead of spending an hour working on your tennis serve, you mix in a range of skills like backhands, volleys, overhead smashes, and footwork. “This creates a sense of difficulty,” says Bjork, “and people tend not to notice the immediate effects of learning.”

Read the whole story: Wired

See Robert Bjork at the 24th APS Annual Convention

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