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Cognition and education research related to critical thinking and study skills, written for students, parents, and teachers.

Winston Sieck
13 posts

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  • March 19, 2017
  • 11:14 PM
  • 228 views

3 Study Habits of Successful Students in College

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Can’t wait to break out of high school and dash off to college? College is a lot of fun. Late nights, parties, sporting events with thousands of people, on-campus concerts and thousands of potential new friends combine to make college some of the best years of a person’s life. Yet, in the midst of all […]
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  • January 29, 2017
  • 10:05 AM
  • 638 views

Want a Deep Understanding? First, Know How Little You Know

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

It’s natural to feel we have a deep understanding of the world. Unfortunately, we most often don’t. On the whole, we tend to think we understand how things work in much more detail than we actually do. Scientists continue to show us just how complex the world really is. And the devices we build are […]
Check out Want a Deep Understanding? First, Know How Little You Know, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • January 27, 2016
  • 10:43 AM
  • 903 views

21 Study Tips: Steal these Learning Strategies from Master Students

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Can a bunch of study tips really help you do better in school? It’s annoying, isn’t it? You see them in every class. The students who seem to breeze on through. Coolly killing one test after another. How do they do it? Can you pinch the best study tips from these master students? Yep, you […]
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  • December 14, 2015
  • 03:49 PM
  • 923 views

Self-Explanation: A Good Reading Strategy for Bad Texts (& Good)

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

One of the important study skills we need in our increasingly technology driven world is the ability to learn from hard-to-understand text. Maybe you’re trying to grasp a biology textbook chapter on sexual reproduction. Or perhaps you’re reading articles on the web to figure out how to extend your home network by repurposing an old…
Check out Self-Explanation: A Good Reading Strategy for Bad Texts (& Good), an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • November 15, 2015
  • 06:00 PM
  • 1,407 views

Critical Thinking Skills: What are They and How Do I Get Them?

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Critical thinking is often touted as a superior way to confront the issues one faces. But what is critical thinking, really? How is it done?   Can anyone do it, or are Spock-like mental abilities required? Critical thinking is sometimes talked about as a near-mystical skill that exercises untapped parts of your brain. The supposed…
Check out Critical Thinking Skills: What are They and How Do I Get Them?, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • October 16, 2015
  • 03:00 PM
  • 1,196 views

3 Ways Concept Maps Help You Learn

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Concept maps are pictures that that show how ideas relate to each other. In a concept map, ideas are represented as nodes, and the relationships between them as links with descriptive labels. Concept maps can be very large and complex—and they can be very small and simple. You can use concept maps to capture, communicate, and simplify…
Check out 3 Ways Concept Maps Help You Learn, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • September 15, 2015
  • 09:35 AM
  • 1,542 views

Questioning Improves Your Learning if You Ask the Right Questions

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

It’s 2AM and you’re cramming for a test tomorrow. The Doritos are all gone and yours is the only light still on. You stare at a richly detailed diagram of the reproductive system and think, “Looks pretty straightforward. I’ll remember this tomorrow.” At show time, that detailed diagram is nothing but a fuzzy blur in…
Check out Questioning Improves Your Learning if You Ask the Right Questions, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • September 1, 2015
  • 03:30 AM
  • 1,538 views

5 Study Skills to Accelerate Your Learning

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

So much to learn. Will it ever end? Nope. You will be learning for the rest of your life. School is simply a kick starter. No matter what path you take in life after school, learning will be part of it. Yet, the forever journey to develop your talents doesn’t have to be nerve-racking or…
Check out 5 Study Skills to Accelerate Your Learning, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • August 11, 2015
  • 06:42 PM
  • 1,295 views

Intelligence: What it Means to You

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

What does intelligence mean to you? Do you believe you were born with a “smartness score” that’s set for life? Or is intelligence something you can build and grow? Say, by improving your study skills? Now, ask yourself another question – why do you believe that? Where did your ideas about the nature of intelligence…
Check out Intelligence: What it Means to You, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • June 13, 2015
  • 10:30 AM
  • 941 views

In Praise of (the Right Kind of) Praise

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Sure, you praise your kids. And they look at you with beaming little faces. Such a warm feeling, if only for a moment. But, is that all there is to praise? What’s simmering in the brain behind those sparkling eyes? It may well depend on the precise nature of the praise you gave. There are […]
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  • May 12, 2015
  • 08:08 AM
  • 1,075 views

Motivated to Fail: When Flunking Becomes an Ambition

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

What is the opposite of being motivated to succeed? Well, it must be lack of motivation. Or not caring. Because surely nobody is motivated to do poorly. Or are they? A study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology shows that in fact some students purposefully behave in ways that will lead them to fail. […]
Check out Motivated to Fail: When Flunking Becomes an Ambition, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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  • April 15, 2015
  • 08:58 AM
  • 1,180 views

Take Charge of Your Learning Strategies

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Do you feel in charge of your own learning? Do you learn well with good teachers and bad? Or even if there isn’t one at all? With the wealth of information available today, you have more opportunity than ever to know nearly anything that is known. You can go out and learn virtually anything you […]
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  • March 8, 2015
  • 02:33 PM
  • 860 views

A Study Strategy for all Occasions: Test your Memory

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

You have a test coming up. You need to know the material. First, you need to know how to study for it. One way to study is to read back over your notes, textbook, and any other material. Is that really how to study? An alternative approach would be to test your memory. That could […]
Check out A Study Strategy for all Occasions: Test your Memory, an original post on Thinker Academy.
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Carpenter, S. (2012) Testing Enhances the Transfer of Learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(5), 279-283. DOI: 10.1177/0963721412452728  

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