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Straight-A is easily the best of Cal’s student-oriented trilogy. Cal derived the content and strategies he recommends from his interviews with relaxed, high-achieving students. He offers concrete, practical advice for getting through college without burning out.
In A Mind for Numbers , Oakley shares how to tackle difficult quantitative subjects—even if you’ve struggled with math in the past. Oakley speaks from experience, having gone from a self-described “language person” to getting a PhD in engineering.
This book is an engaging tour through the science of learning led by one of the world’s leading cognitive neuroscientists. Dehaene elegantly links research on how we learn to the science of how the brain works.
This book argues for the importance of background knowledge, the crucial role attention plays in memory, and how cognition changes as we become more proficient.
Retrieval practice, spacing, interleaving and other interventions improve learning, but—and this is key—we tend to be unaware of it. There is value in understanding and deploying these studying strategies precisely because they defy our intuitions.
While Ashman’s advice—that teachers should fully and thoroughly teach their subjects—don’t sound surprising, it’s an important message because of the alternative theories it rejects. This book is a must-read if you’ve ever struggled with teaching or learning.
In this book, Ericsson works to set the record straight, arguing both for what deliberate practice is and what it isn’t. Ericsson argues that much of the prowess we see in elite performers is due to huge quantities of this specific kind of practice rather than talent alone.
Gray’s book is a highly-readable summary that highlights some interesting research on how we might learn motor skills better.
Ahrens’s book is a helpful guide to zettelkasten as it’s a bit more nitty-gritty in the implementation details. If you want to know how to organize the things you learn, this book is a great place to start.
Joshua Foer dives into the strange world of super-memorizers. Using mnemonic systems, these people can memorize decks of cards, random digits or entire poems perfectly in around the same time it takes you or I to read them.
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