The Brain is a Cheap Suitcase

In honor of the start of a new year, the New York Times has an article which says that everything your elementary school teacher told you about how to study is wrong:

Take the notion that children have specific learning styles, that some are “visual learners” and others are auditory; some are “left-brain” students, others “right-brain.” In a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found almost zero support for such ideas.

Also from the article:

…psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite.

And, of course, that old favorite, cramming:

…hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out.

Your Brain before Dr. Pitale's Algebra midterm