Friday, September 10, 2010

You may want to rethink how your children study

Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits reviews some recent studies on how students master the material.

One study finds that studying the material in different locations improves retension.

It was not a surprise to me that cramming has little long term value. I like this summary:

Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out.
“With many students, it’s not like they can’t remember the material” when they move to a more advanced class, said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s like they’ve never seen it before.”


The article also covers the impact of mixing content and self-testing.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)


BookWorm said...

This article should be passed on to many college students. Education shouldn't just be about getting a passing grade. Education is a process--building blocks--and we should take advantage of each opportunity to learn and grow.

Henry Cate said...

I agree. I think education should be a life long process. It appears to me that too often public schools blow out the flickers of interest in learning outside the structured school environment, so that once people are done with school, they are done with education.