Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Make it Stick:
The Psychology of Learning and Memory

Apologies to my readers for the long delay. I recently started teaching a pre-calculus class at a private school in Brooklyn, through which I’m putting into practice many of the pedagogical theories and methods that I’ve observed and studied over the last few years; the process is exciting, but the extra planning required to implement so many new ideas takes up most of the time that I previously devoted to this blog. Further retarding my posting schedule, the post that I’ve been working on intermittently for the past few weeks defies my best efforts to tie it down to finitude and linearity. In the interim, I wanted to post a couple links & a “brief” discussion.*

The Research

My friend Sam Gershman, who studies the neuroscience of memory was thoughtful enough to pass on to me a bunch of cognitive-psych research (see links below) on the conditions that facilitate long-term learning retention. The broad principle around which this research coheres is a theory, strongly supported by experimental data, about the relationship between long- and short-term memory: learning conditions that facilitate short-term recall hamper long-term storage, and vice versa.