Educational practice does not, for the most part, rely on research findings. Instead, there’s a preference for relying on our intuitions about what’s best for learning. But relying on intuition may be a bad idea for teachers and learners alike.

This accessible guide helps teachers to integrate effective, research-backed strategies for learning into their classroom practice. The book explores exactly what constitutes good evidence for effective learning and teaching strategies, how to make evidence-based judgments instead of relying on intuition, and how to apply findings from cognitive psychology directly to the classroom.

Including real-life examples and case studies, FAQs, and a wealth of engaging illustrations to explain complex concepts and emphasize key points, the book is divided into four parts:

  • Evidence-based education and the science of learning
  • Basics of human cognitive processes
  • Strategies for effective learning
  • Tips for students, teachers, and parents.

Written by "The Learning Scientists" and fully illustrated by Oliver Caviglioli, Understanding How We Learn is a rejuvenating and fresh examination of cognitive psychology's application to education. This is an essential read for all teachers and educational practitioners, designed to convey the concepts of research to the reality of a teacher's classroom.

part 1|40 pages

Evidence-based Education and the Science of Learning

chapter 2|9 pages

Different types of evidence in education

chapter 4|10 pages

Pervasive misunderstandings about learning

How they arise, and what we can do

part 2|39 pages

Basics of Human Cognitive Processes

chapter 5|6 pages


chapter 6|13 pages


chapter 7|16 pages


part 3|54 pages

Strategies for Effective Learning

chapter |4 pages


Strategies for effective learning

chapter 8|13 pages

Planning learning

Spaced practice and interleaving

chapter 9|15 pages

Development of understanding

chapter 10|17 pages

Reinforcement of learning

Retrieval practice

part 4|24 pages

Tips for Teachers, Students, and Parents

chapter 11|8 pages

Tips for Teachers

chapter 12|8 pages

Tips for Students

chapter 13|4 pages

Tips for parents