We would all agree that failing or making mistakes is not a pleasant experience. What we often do not realize, however, is that making mistakes can promote learning. Dr. Aaron Benjamin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) shares with us that making mistakes during the learning process can actually be a good thing.


About the Author

Aaron Benjamin (Ph.D., UCLA) is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also holds appointments in the Program in Neuroscience and at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. Dr. Benjamin’s research interests are in human, animal, and artificial memory; computational representations of knowledge; applications of basic principles of learning in training environments; and memory in elderly and pathological human populations. He will begin as Chair-elect of the Psychonomic Society in 2016 and assume the role of Chair in 2017.

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In 2015, Cameron Broumand, an entrepreneur and father of three living in Los Angeles, stumbled upon a media article on the science of learning. After reading the piece, he realized that the valuable research findings in cognitive psychology and the learning sciences were almost entirely unknown to the public and, more surprisingly, to teachers. How could this be?! Broumand decided to find out, so he called Dr. Robert Bjork, a distinguished research professor at UCLA and one of the world’s leading experts in human learning and memory. After an insightful conversation with Dr. Bjork about the disconnect between research and practice, Broumand recognized an opportunity to improve our educational system. Shortly thereafter, he—along with Clement Mok, an award-winning designer and digital pioneer—founded the company, Lasting Learning. The goal of the company? To provide information to the public about how the science of learning can help transform and improve the way people teach and learn. Broumand asked learning scientists, Dr. Nick Soderstrom and Saskia Giebl, M.Sc. (both of whom were in Bjork’s lab at the time), to join the team. They happily agreed and, with the help of Carri O’Neill, have been giving talks, workshops, and webinars around the country ever since. The UCLA-Lasting Learning team has had the privilege to talk with thousands of teachers, coaches, parents, students, and athletes about how they can leverage the science of learning to enhance their educational practices. We look forward to talking with many more!