Fortress Press

Sticky Learning: How Neuroscience Supports Teaching That's Remembered

Sticky Learning

How Neuroscience Supports Teaching That's Remembered

Holly J. Inglis (Author), Kathy L. Dawson (Contributor), Rodger Y. Nishioka (Contributor)


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Despite the introduction of new technologies for classrooms, many seminary courses still utilize primarily auditory methods to convey content. Course outcomes may include opportunities for learners to demonstrate knowledge and skills gained but may not include opportunities for learners to begin to embed knowledge and skills into their long-term memory.
Educators are engaging with neuroscientists to reshape classroom practices, content delivery, curriculum design, and physical classroom spaces to enhance students’ learning and memory, primarily in elementary and secondary education. Why not in seminary education? 
An overview of how learning occurs in our brain, what the different types of memory are, and how memory is created serves as a framework for suggesting pedagogical tools. These brain-friendly tools are specifically applied to individual academic disciplines, enabling instructors to make concrete modifications in the structure and content of what is taught, making learning more ‘sticky.’
Inglis’s synopsis of the use of neuroscience in the classroom and suggested action is followed by a collaborative dialogue with Kathy L. Dawson and Rodger Y. Nishioka. Dawson and Nishioka provide practical commentary regarding the successful implementation of Inglis’s proposed approach. As a group, Inglis, Dawson, and Nishioka create a text that extends pedagogical innovation in inspiring but practical ways.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451488784
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489651
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 136
  • Publication Date November 1, 2014


“The findings of neuroscientists are changing the way we think about work, desire, relationships, and public policy. At last, someone has seen fit to apply them to the world of religious education. Holly Inglis not only has a firm grasp of recent neuroscience research, but she makes it both accessible and useful, helping readers think differently about the very nature of teaching and learning in order to become ‘stickier’ teachers. Already filled with practical advice, Inglis’s book includes a collaborative dialogue with two practitioners to make this a highly engaging and thoroughly useful book.”
—David J. Lose
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

"With a laser focus on the importance of long-term memory formation in student learning, Inglis introduces accessible, brain-wise strategies to help seminary faculty shape focused and memorable learning experiences for their students."
—Katherine Turpin
Iliff School of Theology

"Sticky Learning provides an engaging mixture of grounded educational psychology, neurobiology, teaching methods, and online resources, all designed to help teachers facilitate learning in the myriad settings from congregational ministry to seminary education. Holly Inglis first moves the reader through a range of constructivist learning theories, anchoring her work in cognitive theorists like Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky, and Howard Gardner. Inglis then unpacks recent insights within neuroscience, explaining both the basic biology of the brain’s learning and memory, providing a sound introduction to the neurological basis for educational practice. Throughout the book, Inglis constantly underscores her theory with practical suggestions for facilitating learning, giving concrete examples to help teachers guide learning that ‘sticks’ with students. Bracketed by the sagely wisdom of experienced educator Roger Nishioka and curriculum innovator Kathy Dawson, Inglis both challenges and inspires educators to a new journey: one that invites educators to embrace innovation, artistry, and the sacramental imagination of co-learning with their students."
Dean G. Blevins
Nazarene Theological Seminary
"Through a carefully crafted and approachable text, Inglis and her colleagues explore the ways we learn, how the brain remembers, and how that should challenge us to reimagine how we teach students and understand multiple learning processes. For anyone interested in conversations about the changing landscape of learning and teaching, Inglis provides a neurological, developmental, and practical conversation through which we can explore the multiple ways to reach students and create meaning in our courses."
Jason C. Whitehead
Iliff School of Theology
"Inglis, Dawson, and Nishioka have collaborated to provide a unique and valuable resource for those who not only 'teach' but who genuinely care about student learning. Informed by and addressed to our fast-changing cultural and pedagogical contexts, Sticky Learning draws upon research that many busy seminary professors cannot access—for example, fields such a neuroscience—to provide both insight and strategies for teaching in ways that are truly memorable."
W. David Buschart
Denver Seminary


Author Holly J. Inglis sat down with us at AAR/SBL 2014 to talk about Stiky Learning!