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NY Times article argues for packing your brain carefully, testing

September 14, 2010

A New York Times article titled "Forget what you know about good study habits" has been catching attention in recent days for its digestible roundup of recent learning research, its championing of the value of testing, and its dismantling of the "schoolyard folk wisdom" that guides and directs how many students, young and old, attempt to learn and retain material. The Sept. 6 article, which is among the "most e-mailed" on the Gray Lady's site today, states that the best strategies for studying and retaining new material - "alternating study environments, mixing content, spacing study sessions, self-testing or all the above" - are hardly new but little known.  
A Times story that fronted the "Week in Review" section yesterday hits on a topic also raised in this popular piece: the value of testing. "Testing, the Chinese Way" speaks to the vaule of tests - at least at the elementary and secondary school level - at a time when the White House continues to push for some of the test-heavy reforms first championed by previous administrations.