Peter C. Brown, Author of Make it Stick to Speak at UD

Nov 18, 2014 | Kristi Lynch

Peter C. Brown, lead author of Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, will speak in Blades Hall on the University of Dubuque campus on Thursday, December 4.  The lecture will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed by a book signing.  Brown’s lecture is sponsored by McGraw Hill Higher Education Group.

“It is a delight to welcome Peter Brown to campus.  His work is both practical and engaging, and is impacting the way we think about learning at UD,” commented Mark Ward, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college.

Peter Brown, a 1970 graduate of Beloit College, is a retired management consultant who has made a second career as a writer and novelist.  Make it Stick, co-authored with Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel, cognitive psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis, was published by Harvard University Press in April, 2014, and is an Amazon bestseller.

James Lang, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, called Make it Stick “the single best work I have encountered on recent findings about the human brain and how we learn.”

Make It Stick draws on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines to offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.  The book explores how many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

Other works by Brown include his nonfiction book Jumping the Job Track: Security, Satisfaction and Success as an Independent Consultant; his historical novel, The Fugitive Wife, named editor’s choice by the New York Times and one of the best novels of 2006 by the Washington Post; and Christmas Lake: A History, an account of Indian life, pioneer settlement, and mid-century family life on the shores of the Minnesota lake where he grew up.