Add ‘The Learning Scientists’ to your reading list

Learning Scientists


So I realise you have already got a lot to read, but I really think this one is worth adding to your arsenal.

The Learning Scientists” is a website created by cognitive psychological scientists who study education. Their goal is to help both students and teachers make sense of the scientific literature on learning.

There is plenty of content on the site that you can explore as a first-time visitor, but I think the real value lies in the regular emails they send out.

For example, in the last few emails they sent out recently they’ve covered:

Optimising Learning Using Retrieval Practice

How I learned to Stop Worrying and Prepare for My Comprehensive Exam

Highlighting with Reservations (does highlighting work)

To-do lists

They also link out to other learning/education articles they believe are of high quality.

To receive the emails, simply scroll to the bottom of their home page and enter your details where is says ‘subscribe to our blog’

Their materials, along, with those of the Science of Learning Research Centre have informed previous blog posts of mine (e.g. this one and this one), and for the basis of my ‘Evidence-based Study Tips‘ handout.


What is so good about their stuff?

Put simply – they link their recommendations to published studies.

It’s very easy to get online and write a blog where you just make up stuff as you go along. Some people have probably accused me of exactly that.

However what is far more valuable (and most likely helpful) is when an expert in a field translates what the science demonstrates into actionable strategies that you can use in your own life.

The authors of the Learning Scientists are experts in the field of education. Their site (and emails) are an attempt to translate their knowledge into usable strategies for the non-expert.

And given that your time is precious and study can be difficult, I am assuming you want to know what study strategies actually work so you can focus your efforts on those.


A quick warning

The emails tend to be targeted towards teachers, rather than students. For example, in the post about retrieval practice, the email included ideas on how to provide opportunities ‘in the classroom’ for students to use retrieval practice.

So keep this in mind when you read them. You will need to extract the key ideas and think about how you can use them as a student.


But I don’t wanna!!

Never fear then. In next year’s Mental Fitness Course, I’ll be taking many of the ideas from this site and translating it into concrete study habits you can implement in your daily life.

So if you don’t want to read about them, you can instead listen to a slightly unhinged psychologist talk about them instead.


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Academic skills Mental Fitness Recommended Reading

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