How We Learn

  • by Benedict Carey
  • Narrated by Steve Kramer
  • 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of The Power of Habit and Thinking, Fast and Slow comes a practical, playful, and endlessly fascinating guide to what we really know about learning and memory today - and how we can apply it to our own lives.
From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital.
But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong? And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort?
In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information. What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can altering your routine improve your recall? Are there times when distraction is good? Is repetition necessary? Carey's search for answers to these questions yields a wealth of strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives - and less of a chore. In How We Learn, Benedict Carey shows us how to exploit its quirks to our advantage.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mostly how we "remember", not how we "learn"

This was a fascinating book. Nicely laid out with complex cognitive systems described clearly. My only issue was that the book is slightly mischaracterized to be about "learning" when most of it is on memory and recall. The author does touch on deeper levels of learning- application, synthesis and making connections. I would have liked more here. Still a really great listen.
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- NH Mama

really well documented and powerful book!

Would you listen to How We Learn again? Why?

No, because it's informative, I did take notes though! great studying tips!

What other book might you compare How We Learn to and why?

There a lot of books talking about how the brain works... this one FOCUS on studying and remembering and quotes/explains a lot of past experiments

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, although it got kind of tedious for some moments

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

nop, but it did surprise me some points!

Any additional comments?


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- Mercedes

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-09-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio