Will it Stick?, the book of Job and word of the day

I continue to enjoy reading through the book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry l. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel.  Here are some quotes from chapters 5 and 6:

  • “Good judgment is a skill one must acquire, becoming an astute observer of one’s own thinking and performance.  We start at a disadvantage for several reasons.  One is that when we’re incompetent, we tend to overestimate our competence and see little reason to change.” (p.104)
  • “Our understanding of the world is shaped by a hunger for narrative that rises out of our discomfort with ambiguity and arbitrary events.  When surprising things happen, we search for an explanation.” (p.109)
  • “even your most cherished memories may not represent events in the exact way they occurred.  Memory can be distorted in many ways.  People interpret a story in light of their world knowledge, imposing order where none had been present so as to make a more logical story.” (p.112)
  • “Fluency illusions result from our tendency to mistake fluency with a text or mastery of its content.” (p. 116)
  • “Our memories are also subject to social influence and tend to align with the memories of the people around us.” (p.116)
  • “Humans are predisposed to assume that others share their beliefs, a process called the false consensus effect.” (p. 117)
  • “Confidence in a memory is not a reliable indication of its accuracy.” (p.117)
  • “The person who knows best what a student is struggling with in assimilating new concepts is not the professor, it’s another student.” (p. 120)
  • “…incompetent people overestimate their own competence and, failing to sense a mismatch between their performance and what is desirable, see no need to try to improve.” (p. 121)
  • “Most important is to make frequent using of testing and retrieval practice to verify what you really do know versus what you think you know.”  Space your testing, vary your practice, keep the long view.” (p. 125)
  • “Instructors should give corrective feedback and learners should seek it.” (p. 126)
  • “What you tell yourself about your ability plays a part in shaping the ways you learn and perform – how hard you apply yourself, for example, or your tolerance for risk-taking and your willingness to persevere in the face of difficulty.” (p.140)

Some takeaways from chapter 6:

  1. Be the one in charge (of your own learning).
  2. Embrace the notion of successful intelligence: don’t roost in a pigeonhole of your preferred learning style but take command of your resources and tap all of your “intelligences” to master the knowledge or skill you want to possess.
  3. Adopt active learning strategies, like retrieval practice, spacing, and interleaving.
  4. Distill the underlying principles: break your idea or desired competency down into its component parts.


I am reading a great book by philosopher, Eleonore Stump, called, Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering.  The current chapter I am reading explores the story of the book of Job in the Bible.  It’s hard to distill what Ms. Stump is trying to bring out of the story of Job, but I will try to do that later once I finish the chapter.  The book of Job is so interesting.


(Good intro to the book of Job: The Bible Project: Book of Job)  

Word of the day.  As I mentioned in my last post, I am loving the new vocab app that I found and work on it each day.  It has a perfect balance of testing and bringing back words enough so that you learn them.  Favorite word from today’s lesson is mendicant: given to begging (adj.); a beggar (n.).


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