How We Learn: The New Science of Education and the Brain

$20.9  Paperback
Add to cartQuestions?

Stanislas Dehaene

  • How We Learn
  • How We Learn
    An illuminating dive into the latest science of how we learn-and how we do it better than machines

352 pages
ISBN: 9780141989303

An illuminating dive into the latest science of how we learn-and how we do it better than machines.

In today's technological society, with an unprecedented amount of information at our fingertips, learning plays a more central role than ever. In How We Learn, Stanislas Dehaene decodes its biological mechanisms, delving into the neuronal, synaptic, and molecular processes taking place in the brain. He explains why youth is such a sensitive period, during which brain plasticity is maximal, but also assures us that our abilities continue into adulthood, and that we can enhance our learning and memory at any age. We can all "learn to learn" by taking maximal advantage of the four pillars of the brain's learning algorithm: attention, active engagement, error feedback, and consolidation.

The human brain is an extraordinary machine. Its ability to process information and adapt to circumstances by reprogramming itself is unparalleled, and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent developments in artificial intelligence. The exciting advancements in A.I. of the last twenty years reveal just as much about our remarkable abilities as they do about the potential of machines. How We Learn finds the boundary of computer science, neurobiology, and cognitive psychology to explain how learning really works and how to make the best use of the brain's learning algorithms, in our schools and universities as well as in everyday life.

Table of Contents


Part One - What Is Learning?

  1. Seven Definitions of Learning
  2. Why Our Brain Learns Better Than Current Machines

Part Two - How Our Brain Learns

  1. Babies' Invisible Knowledge
  2. The Birth of a Brain
  3. Nurture's Share
  4. Recycle Your Brain

Part Three - The Four Pillars of Learning

  1. Attention
  2. Active Engagement
  3. Error Feedback
  4. Consolidation

Conclusion - Reconciling Education with Neoroscience

"How we learn... is a challenging and very interesting book, and I think that it would be useful to set at least Part 3 as a core component of pre- service teacher education. It is certainly worthwhile for teachers to take the time to read and digest it, and parents will find it intriguing. Some readers may end up feeling that the book has served largely to justify, reinforce and perhaps extend the strategies that competent teachers already use, but I think that it offers much more than that. In the introduction, Dehaene writes: “When you close this book, I hope you will know more about your own learning processes.” He has succeeded in this – this is a book that can make us all think."
- Dr Roslyn Neilson, developer of the SPAT-R and FELA assessments  read the full review

"There are words that are so familiar they obscure rather than illuminate the thing they mean, and 'learning' is such a word. It seems so ordinary, everyone does it. Actually it's more of a black box, which Dehaene cracks open to reveal the awesome secrets within . . . His explanation of the basic machinery of the brain is an excellent primer."
- The New York Times Book Review

"[An] expert overview of learning . . . Never mind our opposable thumb, upright posture, fire, tools, or language; it is education that enabled humans to conquer the world . . . Dehaene's fourth insightful exploration of neuroscience will pay dividends for attentive readers."
- Kirkus Reviews

"A richly instructive [book] for educators, parents, and others interested in how to most effectively foster the pursuit of knowledge."
- Publishers Weekly