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What Are the Seven Principles That Lead to More Effective Learning (And Teaching)?

And why are there actually seven and not five?

Every human interprets, remembers and incorporates learning content differently. This affects how we learn, and whether and to what extent we engage in the learning. What a person learns takes on greater relevance only when it is combined and integrated with other learning. Learners also need goals, quality feedback, a variety of learning strategies at their fingertips, and a learning climate that’s conducive to self-direction.

These skills can be grouped under seven learning principles that bridge learning theory with practice. The principles apply to any discipline, culture or experience level: 

  1. Peoples’ prior knowledge affects their learning.
  2. The way humans organize knowledge in their minds helps them retrieve and apply it.
  3. Peoples’ motivation generates, directs and sustains what they do to learn.
  4. One acquires mastery by learning skills, practicing them and using them.
  5. “Goal-directed practice,” combined with specific feedback, is critical to learning.
  6. “The social, emotional, and intellectual climate” one learns in intertwines with learners’ progress.
  7. People become self-directed learners by learning how to assess an assignment, design a study plan and reflect on their work.

Learn *cough* more here:

Image of: How Learning Works
Book Summary

How Learning Works

High school and college instructors will benefit from this clear, well-structured guide to teaching and learning.

Susan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett and Marie K. Norman Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers
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Having said that, let’s get back to our second question: Why are there actually seven and not five principles listed in this (and so many other instructive books and their titles)? Because.

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1 We read and summarized one book with 301 pages for this article.
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