The Science of Learning: Controlled Automatic Processes

Today I want to look at is the controlled and automatic processes of memory. Although we don’t often think of processes as part of memory, they are. When you are learning to drive a car, you are overwhelmed by the complexity of the skill. There is so much to think about that it is difficult … Continue reading


Science of Learning: Declarative Procedural Memory

Another aspect of memory that is important in formal learning would be the declarative (or conceptual) and procedural distinction. Declarative memory is made up of information that you can describe or talk about, whereas, procedural memory is made up of the information that allows you to do things (carry out procedures). Declarative tells you what, … Continue reading


The Science of Learning: Basics of Memory

I love memory. It is a part of cognitive psychology, and I found it one of the most fascinating aspects of cognition (I ended up studying attention, but I still love memory). Often, educational reformers will talk with some derision about the role of memory in education. All students (in today's world) are expected to … Continue reading

Memory, The Science of Learning

The Science of Learning: Episodic Memory

Actually cramming works to pass a test, and for millions of students that is the only goal for their education. Eighty-five percent of the students entering university in 2016 were doing so in order to get a qualification that would lead to a better job. For them, cramming works, because they have no intention to learn anything, … Continue reading

Thinking & Learning

Science of Learning: Thinking & Understanding

In addition to teaching content, the primary, avowed purpose of higher education is to teach people how to think, and take information and turn it into knowledge. The difference between information and knowledge is understanding. Knowing that 2X2=4 is nothing more than information if you really don’t understand that 2X2 means two groups of two … Continue reading

Thinking & Learning

Science of Learning: Subjective Judgments of Learning

Subjective judgments about learning are somewhat problematic. One of the aspects of metacognition (a future article) is the ability to assess your own learning. Metacognitive abilities are difficult to develop, and it is unusual to find students with highly developed metacognitive skills. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that people consistently overestimate what they have learned, … Continue reading

The Science of Learning, Thinking & Learning

Its Not How we do Higher Education, It’s What we do in Higher Education

We live in a complex world with a myriad of problems that need attention. We have what we need to seriously address them, but we have failed to develop what we most need - our human capital. Students enter higher education by the millions with 87% wanting nothing more than a degree and we teach … Continue reading