Make It Stick

  • by Peter C. Brown
  • Narrated by Qarie Marshall
  • 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier.
Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Make it Stick, I think, is the best book that teaches how to learn-- the strategies, what really, really works, not only empirical data, but the researches, the scientific data. Do you think that reading all over again is a good plan to ace tests? Think again. There is so much good information that in the middle of the book I had to buy the written version. But don't be mistaken, the audible version delivers it all.
Make it stick is a must! Everybody who wants to increase brain power, that has a limited time to study, has to listen/read it.
Excellent book!

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
Read full review

- ANDRÉ "I love AUDIBLE! I never get mad at traffic jams and can listen to many different books, despite of my short time."

Science vs Anecdotal Evidence

Math became quite advanced in the 1600s. Medicine could barely claim a scientific basis until the 1900s. Education? Education is just starting to get there.

The flip flops between "phonics" being the best method to teach reading and "whole language" being the best method to teach reading go back at least to the 1850s because education establishments depended on anecdotal and not rigorous scientific evidence to establish policy. There have been at least four flip flops regarding reading instruction because science was not used to resolve the issue. Many scientific arguments have been made on the subject but not enough large scale controlled studies.

This book is not about reading instruction. It is about the use of the scientific method to resolve the effectiveness of competing alternative methods of instruction.

Some of the discoveries disclosed by scientific inquiry discussed in this book are diametrically opposite to today's teaching methods and many are quite counter intuitive.

I won't go into detail about the content of this book, but one research project discussed in the book demonstrated how little we know.

Take two groups of students and allow one group to use computer monitors that display crisp and clear instructional material. The second group gets the same material, but the monitors are sub-standard and the images are blurred but readable with difficulty.

Who learns more? The answer? Experiments demonstrated that the students using the poor equipment learned more and retained significantly more. Why? They had to struggle. Unbelieveable, but apparently true.

I think about that when I struggle with some of the more confusingly worded Khan Academy problems. You learn from a struggle and not from spoon feeding.

This book is not about anecdotal evidence to support educational theories. It is about what has been proven to work in rigorous scientific studies. It was written by educational researchers at universities and not classroom teachers who often hold diametrically opposite views about what works. Take fifty classroom teachers and you may have twenty different opinions on how best to teach any given thing.

Our big companies such as Google and Amazon use small scale "A/B tests" on a large number of issues daily. They use the results to scientifically tailor the services they deliver to the public.

Primary and Secondary educational establishments run by governmental entities deal more in tradition. There is a trend toward "evidence based" instruction, but often the "evidence" was not scientifically generated with control groups and the examination of alternative methods.

This is a wonderful book. Perhaps there will be a day when every educational manager will take it's message to heart and adopt methods that can withstand rigorous scientific examination.

Jim Fuqua

Read full review

- Jim Fuqua "Jim"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-23-2014
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC