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Do you ever get frustrated because you listen to a story, presentation, or lecture, but later – sometimes as little as a few hours later – can recall little to nothing about it?

Call it self awareness – or, perhaps more accurately, call it aging – but for whatever reason I have become increasingly conscious of the fact that I forget a tremendous amount of what I hear, even when I am listening with the intent of learning. As a result, I’ve been looking for solid, research-based tips on how to remember what you hear.


Photo of adult learners in classroom around a table

It’s conventional wisdom that “the best way to learn something is to teach it,” but a new study suggests that the mere expectation of teaching may be enough to boost learning significantly.

The study (full text here), which was recently published in the journal Memory & Cognition, is based on a set of experiments in which university students were asked to read and recall key ideas and details from two relatively length text passages. Participants in one group of students were told that they would be tested on the passages while participants in a second group were told they would be required to teach the passage to another student.


Wondering how to beef up your brain, not only to boost your learning power but also to protect against the risk of age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s? Read on for the latest news about the powerful impact regular fish consumption may have.

Photo of broiled fish brain food on greens
I write often about the relationship between diet and learning on Mission to Learn. If you want to be an effective learner, both day-to-day and over the long haul, you need to consistently eat in a way that supports both your physical and mental health. Among other things, that means making sure there is some good brain food in your diet.


The Long Run

March 7, 2014

I’ve been a little heavy on the research-driven posts lately, so I thought I’d throw in a personal story for this post with the hope that other lifelong learners might find some small consolation and – just possibly – inspiration in it. So, here it is:

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Applying the 6 Key Adult Learning Principles to Yourself

February 24, 2014

It’s been years since Malcolm Knowles, considered by many to be the “father of adult learning,” articulated a set of six principles – or “assumptions,” as he put it – about how adults tend to learn differently from children. While anyone who is serious about creating and facilitating effective adult learning experiences should already be […]

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