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Explaining Learning

Explaining Learning

In the book (Carey, B. (2014) How we learn: The surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens.
New York, NY: Random House), develop a tool to explain learning theory to your students and/or their


such as:

A welcome letter, handout, or brochure for parents explaining how learning theory is informing your

pedagogy for the year.

(If you need me to upload the book, please let me know)

Explaining Learning
Part 1: Rationale

Below is a handout that would be used to teach students in their 6 th -8 th grades about
learning theory as described by Carey (2014). The handout has been created to teach students
more about learning theory, Carey’s major arguments concerning how learning occurs, as well as
the significance of his ideas in today’s classroom environment. While the handout makes a lot of

reference to Carey’s opinions, it strives to explain to students how Carey’s ideas can be applied in
the classroom to promote learning. The handout can be used by parents and teachers to teach
students in their different grades of learning despite the fact that it has specifically been
addressed to 6 th -8th graders.
The main reason why I have chosen to make the handout below for students in their 6th-
8th grades is to educate them about a different approach that can be used to explain how learning
occurs. Carey’s learning theory attempts to solve learning problems that are still experienced by
students today, despite the fact that they have tried to use other learning theories which have
been existence for several years. Using the handout, students in their 6th-8th grades will
understand that they can learn best by breaking up their study times instead of cramming. Also,
this handout has been created to inform the target students that; curiosity and wonder drive
learning, forgetting is useful in learning because it increases memory storage and retrieval
strengths, and that different practice promotes effective problem solving because it enhances
verbal and motor learning (Carey, 2014).

Part 2: The Handout

A learning theory is a supposition that tends to explain how knowledge is acquired,
absorbed, processed, and retained. Students in their 6 th -8 th grades should be aware that they can
learn best by taking their time to wonder about new ideas, and by developing some level of
curiosity towards specific concepts. This explains why teachers often allow students to think
about a particular issue based on their daily life experiences when introducing a new topic.

Although students may believe that teachers are trying to influence them to complete isolated
tasks by allowing them to relate issues with their personal life experiences, they should learn that
teachers do so to help them cultivate a deeper habit of curiosity towards given topics.
Additionally, students should note that forgetting plays a very crucial role in learning in
the sense that it helps to increase memory retrieval strength. According to Carey (2014), the two
dimensions of every memory are retrieval strength and storage strength. Retrieval and storage
strengths of every memory are reinforced when a desirable difficulty is added to a task.
Therefore, when students forget, they will work hard to retrieve information from their memory,
thereby increasing retrieval strength. To improve their abilities to learn, students in their 6 th -8 th
grade are advised to avoid overloading their brains with new concepts through cramming, take
breaks in the course of learning, and have a good night’s sleep, as this help to increase knowledge
retention and memory retrieval strength. As Carey (2014) explains, varied practice enhances both
verbal and motor learning among students. By utilizing mixed forms of practice, students in their
6 th -8 th grades manage to consolidate information in varied ways and can solve problems


Carey, B. (2014). How we learn: The surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens.
New York, NY: Random House.

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