Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning.

Powerful Teaching

Powerful Teaching is a book that is disarmingly simple in layout and delivery, managing to condense a complex and deep topic into a practical manual and do it in language that is straight forward and unambiguous.

At a compact 327 pages long, not counting acknowledgements or index, the book is divided into 12 chapters.

The authors have managed to take the four main teaching tools, Retrieval Practice, Spacing, Interleaving and Feedback-Driven-Metacognition and break them down into digestible chunks, providing ample examples and explanations from their own personal teaching experience as well as a wide variety of additional sources.  

While none of the topics are new, or difficult to understand, implementing each technique in a classroom environment can be problematic. But each technique is laid out for you in a simple, solid manner and each chapter builds on the previous one, expanding and developing ideas further. As a result, you’ll find yourself learning how to use the techniques almost without effort.

Chapter List

  1. Discover the power behind power tools.
  2. Build a foundation with Retrieval Practice.
  3. Empower teaching with Retrieval Practice Strategies.
  4. Energize learning with Spacing and Interleaving.
  5. Engage students with Feedback-Driven-Metacognition.
  6. Combine power tools and harness your toolbox.
  7. Keeping it real: Use power tools to tackle challenges. Not add to them.
  8. Foster a supportive environment: Use power tools to reduce anxiety and strengthen community.
  9. Spark conversations with students about the science of learning.
  10. Spark conversations with parents about the science of learning.
  11. Powerful professional development for teachers and leaders.
  12. Do it yourself retrieval guide.
  13. Conclusion: Unleash the science of learning.

In each chapter the authors back up each of their teaching strategies with current scientific research. Each chapter has a list of references, resources and recommended reading that will allow you to delve further into this interesting and complex topic.


Powerful Teaching is a book that condenses and explains current best practice and how you as a parent or teacher can implement it with your children/students.

The authors have done a fantastic job of presenting these ideas in a format that makes them accessible and digestible.

In conclusion, Powerful Teaching is a book for your shelf.

Regardless of whether you are a teacher or parent, this book will be an invaluable resource.

About the Authors.

POOJA K. AGARWAL, PHD, is a cognitive scientist, conducting research on how students learn since 2005. She is an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, teaching psychological science to exceptional undergraduate musicians. Her research has been published in leading journals; highlighted by The New York Times and Education Week; and recognized by the National Science Foundation. Her love of learning formed at the outset of her career as a 4th and 5th grade teacher in St. Louis. Missouri.

PATRICE M. BAIN, EdS, is a veteran K-12 educator, author, and speaker. As a finalist for Illinois Teacher of the Year and a Fulbright Scholar in Europe, she has been featured in popular press, including NOVA and Scientific American. Patrice co-authored an essential practice guide for educators, Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning, in collaboration with the Institute of Education Sciences.