Book Review: Dunlosky’s Strengthening the Student Toolbox in Action, by Amarbeer Singh Gill

The ‘In Action’ series of books aim to translate research into practice, and this addition to the series looking at Dunlosky’s Strengthening the Student Toolbox is a great addition to the series. This little book (less than 100 pages) can be read pretty quickly and could have an immediate impact on your teaching practice. The book looks at Dunlosky’s paper and goes into detail about where each of the techniques could be used from a teaching point of view (the original paper looks more through the lens of pupils using the techniques for learning).

Each technique is explained in depth, and then its potential uses and limitations are discussed. It’s really good to see each technique being looked at with nuance rather than just being described as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ techniques. There are subject specific examples of how each technique could be used, and also case studies by teachers explaining how they’ve used each of the techniques in their classroom. From a chemistry/science point of view, it would be very easy to see how the techniques explained in the book could be used to improve pupil learning.

If you want a book that can be read quickly, and will give you ideas to improve the learning in your classroom, then you’ll find this book really useful.