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How Learning Really Works – Professional Books & Services for Educators

Professional Books  |  Professional Learning Services  |  Free Resources



Translate the science of learning into strategies for maximum learning impact in your classroom

When we purposefully take findings from the science of learning (how the brain learns) and identify principles that can be implemented in our daily practice and follow-up the implementation with gathering evidence of our impact and then furthering our practice by teaching the strategies—this is what we mean by "not by chance, but by design."


Doug Fisher on Evaluating Our Impact 



Professional Books

How Learning Works: A Playbook

by John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey

How Learning Works: A Playbook unpacks the science of how students learn and translates that knowledge into promising principles or practices that can be implemented in the classroom or utilized by students on their own learning journey. Rich with resources that support the process of parlaying scientific findings into classroom practice, this playbook offers all the moves teachers need to design learning experiences that work for all students!


How Tutoring Works: Six Steps to Grow Motivation and Accelerate Student Learning

by Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and John Almarode

How Tutoring Works distills the complexity of strategic moves effective tutors make to build students’ confidence and competence. Harnessing decades of Visible Learning® research, this easy to read, eye-opening guide details the six essential components of any effective tutoring intervention—establishing a relationship and credibility, addressing student confidence and challenges, setting shared goals, helping a student learn how to learn, teaching and learning content, and establishing a habit of deliberate practice.



Professional Learning Services

Our How Learning Works institutes and professional learning workshops are designed to help translate the science of how learning works to the classroom. Check out our professional learning options and find out how to enhance and accelerate learning.  

While both our institutes and workshops may be held virtually or face-to-face, find out the key differences and which works better for you and your team. 

Attend an upcoming virtual institute 

Our institutes are public, scheduled, one-day virtual learning events that offer high impact opportunities to learn about various key content areas from educational experts - ideal for individuals or small groups looking to jumpstart their learning. The How The Learning Brain Works Institute provides an easily accessible look at the process for translating research about how learning works into classroom practices that enhance and accelerate student learning. Attendees will:

  • Learn about how the learning brain works and how this translates into potential for enhancing and accelerating learning in our schools and classrooms 
  • Build a shared language of learning around implementing the science of learning in our schools and classrooms
  • Build collective efficacy among our colleagues and our students so that we can implement promising principles and practices based on how learning works

Register for an upcoming institute today! 

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Virtual PD

Book personalized workshops with a certified consultant 

Our workshops are professional learning opportunities designed for schools or districts who want to bring a certified consultant to their school (virtually or face-to-face) to explore different content areas. Workshops are best for: 

  • Engaging in personalized and customized services for lasting impact, scheduled at your request 
  • A large group in your school or district to work through the content together alongside the consultant to create a practical action plan
  • Schools or districts that want multi-day consulting services held specifically for your district to ensure impactful implementation 

Based on the Visible Learning+ framework, How Learning Works professional learning workshops allow schools and districts to dive deep into the work with a certified consultant to evaluate their impact and translate the science of learning into strategies to implement in your classroom.

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Free Resources


How Learning Works Webinar

A Look at How Learning Works Webinar

Presented by Nancy Frey and John Almarode

Understanding how learning works helps us make decisions that move learning forward in our schools and classrooms. Over the past 150 years, cognitive scientists have generated amazing research on how our students acquire, consolidate, and store information. This webinar provides an overview of the science of learning and how to translate that science into classroom practices that increase student learning.

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HLW Podcast

Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Almarode on "How Learning Works" PODCAST

On this episode of the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast, host Andrea Samadi welcomes John Almarode, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey to discuss their new playbook, How Learning Works.

listen to podcast


How Tutoring Works Webinar

How Tutoring Works Webinar

Presented by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Almarode

Tutoring is much more than telling students information. Effective tutoring begins with the strong and caring relationship a tutor establishes with a learner to build trust, fuel motivation, and drive critical learning.

view recording



How Learning Works Introduction

How Learning Works Introduction

In this introduction to How Learning Works, the authors discuss the purpose and how to use their playbook, plus give a brief overview of how learning truly works—not by chance, but by design.

read the intro


How Learning Works Mod 5

Module 5 - Promising Principle 1: Motivation

In Module 5 from How Learning Works, the authors discuss the first of their "promising principles": Motivation. In this module, they bridge the gap between ideas and theories around motivation and the application of these strategies in the classroom.

read the module


Learning Myths

How Learning Works: Learning Myths

Read the list of beliefs and misconceptions about learning that are not supported by research and may actually interfere with our support of learning acquisition, consolidation, and long-term storate. Do you think the statements are true or false? Check your answers!

Download Learning Myths