The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast, Episode 21 Transcript

Jennifer Gonzalez, host

Listen to the audio version of this podcast.

 

Jennifer Gonzalez: This is Jennifer Gonzalez welcoming you to Episode 21 of the Cult of Pedagogy Podcast. In this episode, I interview Peter Brown, one of the authors of our summer 2015 book pick, Make it Stick.

 

[Music playing.]

 

Gonzalez: This summer I was not planning on doing a book study. Last summer I did two and I thought this summer I would take a break. But then I came across this book called Make it Stick and not only did the cover grab me, because it did not look like a typical education book, it’s just a simple blue cover with a gold star on it. But then I saw all of the reviews. It had a ton of five star reviews. Then I found out that the authors were a team of three people, two cognitive psychologists and a novelist. And I thought ‘that’s really different too. So then I read about the book’s premise and that is what really sold me.

So here is the premise of the book. Again, the book is called Make it Stick, the Science of Successful Learning. Here is the basic idea of this book: what we believe about learning and what most people do to study and learn material is basically wrong. It is not backed by science. So here’s an example: For a lot of us in college, the way we would study would be to just to open up the textbook and read and reread and reread and highlight and reread some more. Turns out that’s actually not the most effective way to learn. What actually is more effective, and this is just one concept I’m going to give you from the book, is frequent retrieval practice, so basically self-quizzing. And teachers can use this too. Instead of teaching and teaching and teaching and teaching and then giving a quiz or a test at the end of a long period of time, we can actually help our students along by quizzing them. That actually creates better learning. So a lot of us think of quizzing as formative assessment so that we can measure what students learn. And that is important, but the act of quizzing someone on material actually reinforces the learning. So this is just one of the concepts from this book. So I chose it for the summer book study for 2015. If you would like to read a full review of the book, including some chapter reflections – I did some video reflections. Just go to cultofpedagogy.com/stick and you will see all the information plus links to the book.

In this episode, I am interviewing one of the book’s authors, Peter Brown. Now this is the one of the three who is a writer by trade and we had a great conversation about the process that they used to write the book. I also asked him some questions about some of the concepts in the book that left me wondering. And I also solicited some questions from readers on Facebook and Twitter. So here is my interview with Peter Brown:

 

Gonzalez: I’m having a little trouble wrapping my brain around it, honestly. It’s almost—It’s a good thing I’m reading the book while I’m reading the book. That’s because as I’m starting to—I’m having trouble sometimes deciding what my really clean, simple take aways are. But because I’ve read the book, I’ve realized that that process of trying to figure out what I’m getting out of the book is a good thing.

Peter Brown: Yeah, right.

Gonzalez: You know?

Brown: Exactly.

Gonzalez: It’s funny too, the other day I forgot my password for something and I had to go kind of digging around and looking for it and under any other circumstances I would have been really annoyed by it, but I  told myself well this means I’m probably going to learn it better now because I’m having to struggle a little bit.

Brown: Exactly.

Gonzalez: So it’s good. It’s kind of life changing to read these things. So when I produce this podcast, I’m going to be doing it really quickly, probably in two days when I do the book review, I am also going to give a little bit of an introduction to you and who you are and also ask a little bit about how you came to collaborate with two neuroscientists on…

Brown: Cognitive scientists.

Gonzalez: Cognitive scientists, thank you.

Brown: Cognitive psychologists.

How Make It Stick Was Written

Gonzalez: So if you—If we could start there, and you could tell me a little bit about how the collaboration even got started and how they found you. And what made them make the decision to hire a professional writer, which I think is a genius decision. How did that come about?

Brown: Yeah, well, not the way you’re thinking.

Gonzalez: No?

Brown: No, Henry Roediger, who was—Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel who are my co-authors. They are colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis, cognitive psychologists with a deep, deep history in the science of memory and learning. Roediger, whom we call Roddy. He goes by Roddy amongst, professionally and amongst his friends, is my brother in law.

Gonzalez: Oh, no kidding?

Brown: Yeah. So I’ve known him for thirty six years and I’ve had my career and he’s had his career and we get together fairly often. I had—I was between books. I published a historical novel and I was working on a project, a history project, and trying to figure out what I was going to do next. And Roddy and Mark were coming to the end of a ten year grant from the James S. McDonald Foundation, which funded a team of about a dozen cognitive psychologists around the country at different universities to do research into this question of what teaching and studying strategies lead to better memory of the learned material. Roddy was telling me about what this work had found and it was so counterintuitive and intriguing to me that we thought, you know it would be great to get this—the results of these studies into the hands of the general populus. And a good way to do this would be some kind of a book that was written by a non-scientist and had a fair amount of anecdotes and stories or real people in it that were interesting and pulled people through the book. So that’s how we came to dream this thing up. And there it is.

Gonzalez: That’s really interesting. I had no idea that you had like a personal relationship prior to this, but I think it’s so smart because had they just published this through academic publishing—I’ve found as a teacher, that stuff sometimes never reaches people who could use it. You know it just kind of swirls around in academia…

Brown: In its field.

Gonzalez: Yeah, and maybe eventually trickles down in some way, but I think that I can really see your influence in this book, because not only is the writing really beautiful in some places, talking about neuronal architecture and some of the phrasing, I was underlining it like crazy because it—To be already interested in these concepts and then to have them phrased in ways that—Well it’s sticky in itself, because you’re kind of caught on a phrase and how eloquently something is put.

Brown: Thank you.

Gonzalez: That’s just a flat-out compliment. But I think also the influence of the anecdotes is really important to illustrate how these concepts work.

Brown: Thank you. It’s one of the ways that I learn, and so I know from my experience writing an historical novel, where I have characters I’ve never met in a time I’ve never lived, in a place I haven’t been, that I need to—In order to bring them alive on the page, they have to come alive for me and I have to learn a huge amount and put myself in that place. So I knew in taking this one, somehow I was going to have to learn enough about the research to explain it in my own words and to animate it if you will, through storytelling to help me understand it. And so I kind of set myself up—I have just a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. I don’t have any scientific training. I set myself up as a reader, if you will, as well as a writer, so that I felt—I—every time I had a question, Where does this come from? or What next? or What do you really mean here? That I would struggle in trying to find the answer to that in a way that would be meaningful to me as a reader.

Gonzalez: So what was the process like? Did the other two kind of draft out the chapters ahead of time and then took it to you to kind of make it clear to a reader?

Brown: No, we sat down a couple of times to try to identify what were the big ideas and how would we organize that into chapters. And the book has eight chapters and we started with maybe nine or ten chapters. I think maybe ten, maybe eleven. I don’t remember. In any case, then we had to decide how are we going to write this book. The typical way of writing an academic book is the people who, the co-authors divide it up. I’ll take chapters one through three. You take chapters four through seven, or whatever. And that’s what they proposed. I sat there and thought, why am I here, if that’s the way we’re doing it. So I said, let me go ahead and take a shot at writing a couple of chapters and then let’s talk about how we want to do this. I really felt that the book needed one voice all the way through, one writing style all the way through. So that’s what happened and they’re very busy in their work and I’m not. I’m retired from my management consulting business and dedicating myself to my writing projects. So it fit our schedules better.

So I would—Then we went around and hunted for an editor and we ended up happily with Harvard University Press. And the editor came out to visit with us in St. Louis to talk through our proposal and we—with her brilliant advice—we got it whittled down to eight chapters. She helped us very much think through how it should be organized. Then we were off and running and writing.

Then the writing process was, I knew—we knew what each chapter was about, generally. I would then go on about the process of learning the subject that the chapter was about. Then trying to find stories that would fit, that would illustrate the material. And then try drafting something and then share it with my coauthors saying “Have I got this science right?” or in the process I would write and say ”I don’t understand this.” or “Can you give me a study that would show me more of the depth behind this other thing?”  Ultimately I would give them a draft chapter. They would then mark it up and send it back. I would revise. I would send it back to them. That’s how it went.

Gonzalez: That’s fascinating. I mean it really—I just don’t know that that model has been used that often. And maybe it has and I’m just not aware of it. But, to take somebody who can actually communicate things to work with somebody who’s got the science down. I just think that that’s a great process and the fact that you drafted the chapters initially and then went to them to check that the science was straight.

Brown: Well, I have to say in all fairness, the both of them are excellent writers and excellent communicators, really, really. I’m not just saying that. When they give presentations, when they take questions—If either one of them was on the other end of this conversation, they are very warm and engaging. But what I—One of the reasons I wanted to take a first shot at writing the chapters was because I wanted to put my understanding and my explanation out there first before hearing it from them. Because once I’ve heard it from them, then that sort of frames the way I see it, if you take my meaning. And I wanted to try to frame some of these things in ways that maybe weren’t predictable or conventional or didn’t really quite relate to the way that they were described in the scholarly journals. And it worked out very well. They were extremely gracious and generous in letting me do that. I would say if I were writing this book by myself without them, I would not have the authority, of course, that the book has. And my language might have been a little more informal. So we met in the middle. The language of this book isn’t as informal as I might have liked, but it’s highly respectful to the science that underlies the chapters and materials.

Gonzalez: I think it strikes a really nice balance. There were definitely some spots where it was maybe a little bit less—You know I couldn’t be laying in bed just enjoying it, I’d have to sort of sit up and pay attention. But then there were other sections that were. So I do—So I think you did strike that balance and it feels like a book that I’m going to be going back to many more times to try to pull out that information.

Make It Stick’s Big Message

Gonzalez: So, okay—So what do you think if you were just talking to somebody and you had to give them a super quick takeaway from it. What do you think was the most important takeaway from this book?

Brown: To me, the most important takeaway, the most surprising take away from the research into how we learn and remember is that we learn and remember better when we practice pulling things out of the brain than when we try to practice putting stuff into the brain. So retrieval practice, quizzing, elaboration, is far more effective for interrupting the learning—the forgetting, excuse me, interrupting the forgetting that is the human condition and more thoroughly embedding new material than rereading or re-looking at a lecture, looking at our notes, that kind of thing. I think that’s a very profound statement and it’s not intuitive.

Gonzalez: No. It isn’t. It isn’t. I was remembering college when I was reading that and watching people—I was a big flash card user. I would make my own flash cards and I remember watching other people just staring at the book and I thought maybe that’s why I did well on the tests. Because I felt like I had to be doing something with the information and not just staring at it.

Brown: Yeah, well you’re a natural. Most of the rest of us aren’t. We didn’t know.

Gonzalez: I think the thing that I didn’t know as a teacher, because this was me as a student, but as a teacher, the concept of frequently quizzing students with low stakes quizzes, that’s revolutionary to me and that’s definitely a message that I want to get out to my own readers that this is an easy, easy thing to build into instruction.

Brown: I’m glad to hear you say that. I think it’s that kind of—Not all instructors feel that’s a welcome bit of news, but it turns out that those instructors who have a, who create a regimen of frequent low stakes quizzing are really surprised at how effective that is at helping their students lock in the learning and carry it forward through a semester. And the students who are resistant at the beginning and who are disappointed that this is going to happen end up at the end of the semester saying “I wish I had this in every one of my classes because I find myself at the end of the semester not having to cram for exams.”

Gonzalez: Right. So since you all have published this book, is there sort of like a frequently asked question that you all get on kind of a regular basis about the concepts of the book?

Brown: I would say, we’ve had a huge amount of e-mails and they’ve been very congratulatory if you will, or people very interested in the book. The kinds of questions tend to be: You say in the book that when I practice retrieving something from memory that I should space that out over time, how much time should I let elapse between my practice sessions? That’s a common question and it’s different depending on what the material is that you’re learning, but  the general answer to that question is you want to let enough time elapse so that when you practice, there’s effort required. But you want to retrieve it from memory. It’s somewhat difficult. But you want to make—You don’t want to let so much time elapse that you cannot retrieve it from memory. Then you have to relearn it. And also anything that you want to be sure to stay on top of permanently, you periodically have to retrieve from memory in order to keep that memory strong and keep your pathways to finding it active.

Gonzalez: That—The stuff about—And see now I’m not remembering if it was parasailors or paratroopers or somebody having to skydive. The skydiving writing, right?

Brown: Oh, this was  Mia Blundetto, the young marine who was appointed head of logistics in the marines in one area of their work and she had to go to jump school as a condition of being in charge of logistics.

Gonzalez: Right, but how often those people still have to repeat their training, even once they’ve achieved it. There’s this repeat, you know practice of these situations.

Brown: Right, and that’s particularly true—We still that in very complicated areas—Flying jet planes, you have to be in the simulator, I don’t remember if it’s every six months, something like that. In situations where the unexpected emergency arises in mid-flight, you have to practice responding to it in order to make sure you’re still on top of it , that you have instant access to the motions and procedures to stabilize the aircraft. That’s becoming more and more true in a lot of fields. Simulation like that is being used in police work. It’s being used in medical training.

I had an interesting query, or we did as authors, from a guy who’s in charge of using simulators to train ship captains who are in charge of huge loads of volatile material, to make sure they can maneuver their ship through fog, avoid islands and avoid other traffic. The guy in charge of that got in touch with us and said “I think we’ve been doing it all backwards.” We’re not doing enough of this kind of simulation practice. We’re doing too much classroom training stuff. So having read the book, he was setting about reorganizing the way that they deliver their instruction.

Gonzalez: That’s—that’s fantastic. I mean that’s—it’s really a vote of confidence. I think the applications are so far-reaching for so many areas and I think you guys do a good job of showing how this helps if you’re a student, if you’re a teacher or a trainer. There really are broad applications.

Applying Make It Stick in English Language Arts

Gonzalez: One area of instruction, and this is my background is in English language arts, teaching people how to read well and how to write well. One of the questions that I got, and it was something I was already thinking about anyway, from one of my own readers was that a lot of these concepts seem to be really applicable to discrete skills like you know learning a foreign language or—

Brown: Hitting a curve ball.

Gonzalez: Exactly!

Brown: Yeah, right.

Gonzalez: When it’s something really complex like how to develop ideas in a paper or how to use your voice in your writing, I’m still struggling. Now I feel like I’ve got it with some areas of English language arts. Teaching grammar rules it would be great for this. Teaching literary concepts would be great for this. But the skills of writing, I can’t figure out how to apply these concepts. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Brown: I have a few thoughts and if I had gotten your question sooner, I, our—Roddy Roediger just had a meeting with an English professor who had similar questions. He’s traveling. I wasn’t able to get his input from that. But I will get it later and pass that on to you.

Gonzalez: Great, I can add it to the blog post about this.

Brown: Sure.

Gonzalez: Fantastic.

Brown: My—Just speaking from my own point of view, I set out to learn to write fiction. It’s been around twenty years ago, roughly speaking. And I went to a class in Minneapolis where they have writers teaching writers. I took a beginning fiction writing course. As a part of the course, I decided to write short stories because I knew I was going to make a lot of mistakes and I wanted to make a mistake and put it behind me, go on and make a different mistake the next story. So I would have a sort of cascading series of efforts and learn from the mistakes if you will, or what have you, from trial and error kind of thing. A number of people in the course had spent years writing novels and trying to figure out what was wrong with them. Well I didn’t want to spend years making the same mistake over and over again. So that notion of generation if you will, which this research says is a very powerful way of learning, which is trying to solve the problem before you’re taught the solution. It could actually be swinging at your curve ball or it could be trying to write a short story. You get out—You sit down and you have in your mind what is a short story and you give it a shot. You struggle with it. Then someone says, well here’s some of the elements of craft that would be helpful to you and you’re very receptive all of a sudden to those elements of craft. You hadn’t—You know you could’ve gone into a class and someone could’ve given you a lecture on the craft of writing fiction and you wouldn’t have been quite as hungry a sponge if you will. So this notion of generation, of trying and learning through trial and error is one thing that worked very well for me.

Another thing that I have discovered over the years since I have been writing is it’s changed the way I read. When I read—Have you read Hilary Mantel’s books about Thomas Cromwell, they’re really hot now. Well, when I read Hilary Mantel or Mavis Gallant—I was reading one of her short stories, great short stories. I read these and I think “Wow, what is it that she’s doing that makes this so successful for me as a reader?” And I try to parse,if you will, what her technique is. And one of the things that Mantel does, which is so powerful. She’s got these novels told through the point of view of Thomas Cromwell, nobody else. There’s a huge amount of British history involved in this thing and how is she going to give you that history just writing from his point of view. So when there’s a conversation between Cromwell and another character, you go right into his mind and all of these things that flash through his mind. These flashes give you a sense of his attitude, how he feels about this person he’s talking to, what it relates to elsewhere in the story and in the history. Even if you don’t know enough about the history to understand all those references, you have this very potent, brief passage that equips you for how he responds. And you build slowly through that novel your understanding of who these characters are and how they interrelate with each other and what the tensions are. My point being simply that when you are a writer, you read differently. You start—You might start with a question, read for the answer or you might just pick something up and read it and say “This person is doing something very well and I have to figure out what it is. How is that happening? And what parts of that can I borrow?”

Gonzalez: So with that, with that idea in mind, is that something, I guess, that is part of generation then? So you struggle a little bit with trying to accomplish something in your writing, then you can start seeing it in other people’s writing. Start seeing solutions.

Brown: I think that for me that’s certainly the case and I—Somewhat similar example, something that Roddy Roediger uses with his graduate students in cognitive psychology. He will impose a question and he’ll make reading assignments of say go read these three different things, none of which answer that question directly, but all of which have a slant on the subject. And so you start with a question. You read each of these pieces and then you take what you’ve gleaned from those pieces and you begin to formulate your answer to the question, which is more along the form of a hypothesis because no one’s directly spoken to the question. So it’s a way of framing the question in your mind and then gleaning from the stuff that you’re reading material or ideas that help you formulate your understanding, your mental model of how it is you’re going to go about doing this thing or how you’re going to respond to this particular question.

This idea of starting with a question and reading for the answer is something I found at the West Point Academy. I wrote about the young graduate from West Point who became a Rhodes Scholar, has gone on to medical school at Johns Hopkins. And her professor at West Point says always the students have more reading assignments than they have time to do. And he says if you’re reading all of the material, it’s a mistake. If you start with a question and read for the answer, you’re going to get what you need and move on.

How Real Teachers Are Applying Make It Stick

Gonzalez: The book is full of examples of people who have had success with these strategies and these methods. Since writing the book, have you been contacted by other teachers or students, I guess, who have—Well actually I guess I’d like to probably focus on teachers who have had success, maybe resisted these models and were able to try them and found success with them?

Brown: We have. We have. There’s a large volume of e-mails. And what happens is e-mails that come in to our website, [email protected], come to me and I either answer them or I ask Roddy and Mark. Each of them will answer them if they’re technical things that are deep down in the research. So we parcel them out and I’m trying to collect those questions and answers and sift through them and begin to post a dialogue, a series of dialogues, if you will, on the website. I haven’t had time to do that yet, but there’s been a lot of that kind of material and it’s waiting to be made more accessible to other people.

I—I was in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago visiting with a very accomplished painter named Ralph Gilbert who had been commissioned to paint  murals for the refurbishment of our Union Depot here in St. Paul and I met him at that time. Since meeting him and my meeting him in Atlanta, he had read Make it Stick. And our meeting in Atlanta was purely social, but he said he had the opportunity to read the book and the result was he changed the way he structures his drawing class. He teaches drawing at a university. He said “I used to teach six sessions on drawing, learning to draw the negative spaces. So if you’re looking at a candelabra, you’re drawing the same that it doesn’t fill. Six lessons or sessions on point of view and how to use point of view in drawing. And then six sessions on tone. What colors are inherent in the object and what colors are the result of reflected light.” And he said “Instead I’ve gone to two sessions on—Two sessions on one, two sessions on another, two sessions and then I circle back.” He’s seeing a huge difference in the ability of those students in the drawing classes to integrate those skills and develop greater mastery. That was very nice. I mean that’s anecdotal, but that was very nice to hear. There in drawing class, which is much less the kind of lining up to hit a curve ball skill or learning and mastering the solution to finding the solid of a solid geometry object like a wedge. This is more elusive it seems to me, and yet with some basic skills involved.

Gonzalez: Yeah, so I’m actually seeing some parallels now to writing because with art is is sort of a combination of a lot of different skills and learning what tools to use when and so that’s interesting. I’ve kind of got my wheels turning now that you could keep circling back to things and not just be teaching things in batches.

Brown: Exactly. And some of the questions that come in have come in from musicians. And Mark McDaniel has responded to those because Mark is an avocational musician. And it has to do with speeding up—It has to do with practice and in relieving leading up to practice—How often to practice. I have one of them here, let’s see if I can—So this guy, his name is Alan Cocker. He writes to us. He says “My question concerns studying music. I play trumpet. I need to learn the fingerings properly for rhythm, get it up to tempo and make the piece say something.” So, so he says “I play a phrase at the fastest tempo that I can and still play it accurately and then gradually speed it up until I’m at a full tempo. That phrase is then added to previously learned phrases. The next day, I typically repeat the same, hopefully getting up to tempo. But it’s always felt like shoveling snow in a snowstorm. Your book explains why, but my question is: How much time or number of reviews to any given phrase would be appropriate before moving on?” And Mark says “Once you get it up to where it’s supposed to be, stop and go do something else. Get it up once and then come back another day, another time, or if you’ve interleaved with something else. And when you get to the proper tempo, the desired tempo, stop and go on to something else. Don’t do it over and over again.” It’s that here again we have something that’s in the arts, that’s a mix of skills. And he’s saying when you get it there where you want it to be, move on.

Gonzalez: Oh, that is so counterintuitive.

Brown: Isn’t it?

Gonzalez: Oh my gosh, yes, yes because my first thinking is if I get it all right, then I need to run through four or five more times to get it into muscle memory.

Brown: Yeah, yeah, we all feel that, we all feel that. Of course we think that muscle memory is in the muscles, and of course it’s not, muscle memory’s in the brain. Somebody, I was speaking to a group one day and somebody was very mystified by this whole idea and she said “You know I’m trying to get my tennis serve down and so what about muscle memory?” And I said “Well muscle memory, where do you think that is? Muscle memory is in the brain and the same principles apply for your tennis serve as for the non-motor skill.

Gonzalez: Wow, That’s, I mean if that gets out there, which I guess it already is getting out there. I mean I can imagine that would be the biggest pushback you would get would be from people who have had years of what they think anyway is success with repeated, repeated, repeated, practice on things that require, you know, muscle memory.

Brown: Let me make a comment about it. One of the things that was a big learning for me in the project to help me understand why this is so is understanding when we first encounter something, we encounter it in a different part of the brain than where our long term memory is stored.  And that it takes hours or more for learning to go from the hippocampus into the other parts of the brain where it’s stored for long term memory. So if you do something over and over again, you do see improvement, but it’s all in the hippocampus. It’s leaning on short term memory. It isn’t making it over into long term memory and so that’s why and you think that you’ve improved. You don’t perceive how that drains away. That’s one of the reasons why when you first encounter it it’s fluid in your mind. The brain tries to make sense of it, organize it, move it into long term memory and connect it to what you already know. The psychologists call that process consolidation because the brain consolidates that new learning into long term memory. What happens when you try to do it again later and you’re rusty at it, it requires a lot of effort and it turns pliable again and the brain then works again at making sense of it and filling in the gaps and making the most important ideas more prominent and the pathways to it stronger and the connections to what you already know stronger. So even though that practice, whether it is a motor skill or cognitive skill, even though it’s clunky at the time- I don’t think I’m getting this. I’d be better at it if I were getting it. It’s not so. It’s that effort that’s causing it to get reconsolidated and it gets strengthened in long term memory. Not only strengthened connections, but strengthened in terms of the salient ideas that lead to success.

Gonzalez: One of my readers asked that—You all recommend that teachers share this research with students. That we let our students know about how learning works. She was just wondering if you were aware of any student friendly resources, where this information is shared.

Brown: I’m not in particular and that’s one of the things on the list is how do we take the broad concepts in this book and turn them into actionable tools, if you will, templates or something. I would direct that person to chapter eight, in which we talk about a biology professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Mary Pat Wenderoth, and she describes in some, some depth how she talks to her students about how learning works and then builds into the classroom experience many different forms of retrieval practice so that they learn the potency of that practice. It’s hard to develop the habit of spaced retrieval practice unless you have the experience out the other end of how powerful it is as a tool. And so she makes sure they do. A very simple thing she does when she’s lecturing, is she’ll pause and ask a question to her students about the material. And they will turn to their notes and she’ll say “Put your notes aside and imagine that your mind is a forest. The answer is in there somewhere. The more times you make a path to find it, the stronger that path will be.” That’s why it’s more important to try to answer by retrieving it from memory than by looking it up. Because every time you look it up, you’re not going down that path and you’re not strengthening that path.

Gonzalez: Right, okay, yeah. And chapter eight is full of lots of really good examples of how teachers are working this into their classes. So I’ll make sure to point that out to readers to go there.

How to Contact the Authors

Brown: Let me just say that we would greatly appreciate suggestions, anything like that because I think we are at the point where we need to rethink what are we doing next? Are we going to take this to another level? What should we do with our website to make it more useful? So anything that you can pass back to us along those lines would be a great help to us.

Gonzalez: That actually, that kind of dovetails my last two questions. One was about how can people contact you and the other was about what’s next. So it sounds like you’re throwing around a lot of ideas and you’re open to suggestions.

Brown: We’re generally open to suggestions. The way to contact us is we have a website: makeitstick.net.

Gonzalez: Okay.

Brown:  We can be emailed at [email protected]. And so I guess we’re in a situation where we’re trying to decide should we be doing more. Roddy and Mark are deep, deep in their research, moving on with their research. And the question I’m really facing is do I want to spend more time on this or do I want to go back to fiction. Part of me wants to go back to writing fiction. Part of me says, boy you’ve got a tiger by the tail here and it’s pretty great. You should rassle with it a little more.

Gonzalez: Yeah. Well thank you so much for giving me this time and answering these questions.

Brown: Thank you very much, I enjoyed it a lot.

Gonzalez: Okay, we’ll talk to you soon.

[music playing]

Gonzalez: Thank you so much to Peter Brown and to the other authors for creating such a great book. Again you can read a full review of the book at cultofpedagogy.com/stick. For more fantastic things to improve your teaching, please come and visit cultofpedagogy.com  Thanks for listening and have a great day.

 

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