The most depressing fact in all of education!

ebbinghaus forgetting curve

Take a look at the graph above. It shows something called “the forgetting curve” and it makes for depressing reading. What it means is that when you learn something new, within an hour you will have forgotten more than half of what you learned and within 24 hours you will only be able to remember about a third of what you knew the previous day.

Within a month you will have lost about 80% of what you learned. Continue reading “The most depressing fact in all of education!”

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Put down that highlighter!

effectiveness highlighting & rereading in learning

… and stop just re-reading your textbook.

Huge study shows that most commonly used revision methods are the least effective

Although a huge amount of research has been carried out over more than a century, looking at learning methods and how effective they are in different circumstances, this knowledge has largely stayed within academia and hasn’t filtered down to either students or teachers.

So it’s not surprising, then, to find that the most commonly-used revision methods are actually the least effective, and people are often fooling themselves about how well they know something that they are revising. Continue reading “Put down that highlighter!”

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Cracking the memory code

cracking the memory code

The brain is a bit of a mystery, really. Although a great deal of research has been carried out, there are still many things that we don’t yet understand about how the brain works, how memories are formed, and how they are recalled. But there are many things that we do know: principles and effects that we can harness to make our memory more powerful and long-lasting. That’s what I am going to be talking about in a whole series of blog posts, and today I’m giving you some background info.

That blob of grey stuff inside your cranium is home to billions of brain cells, called neurons. Each neuron can connect to up to 10,000 other neurons, so there is a staggeringly huge number of potential connections that our brain cells can make with each other.

Your brain, although only accounting for about 2% of the body’s mass, consumes 20% of the oxygen you take in and 25% of the glucose that’s coursing through your bloodstream. It is a massive organic supercomputer and, amazingly, it’s re-wiring itself all the time. Continue reading “Cracking the memory code”

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Where did I leave my keys?

how to remember where you left your keys

I thought I’d start my blogs with something slightly frivolous.

Forgetting where you left your keys is a common experience and affects some people more than others. It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?

You rush about the house, looking on top of things and under things, trying to retrace your steps and work out where you’ve been, where you stood, where you sat and what you did as soon as you came in the front door.


But there is a way of dealing with this problem and I’m going to run through a couple of approaches that you can use to make sure you remember where you left the keys. Continue reading “Where did I leave my keys?”

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