My Books

My latest book

Uncommon Sense Teaching

Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn

Neuroscientists have made enormous strides in understanding the brain and how we learn, but little of that insight has filtered down to the way teachers teach. Uncommon Sense Teaching applies this research to the classroom for teachers, parents, and an


Learn Like a Pro

Science-Based Tools to Become Better at Anything

Do you spend too much time learning with disappointing results? Do you find it difficult to remember what you read? Do you put off studying because it’s boring and you’re easily distracted? This book is for you. Dr. Barbara Oakley and Olav Schewe have


Learning How to Learn

How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens

The bestseller A Mind for Numbers has been revamped in this edition for kids and teens to teach them simple tricks to learn difficult subjects—whether they feel like good students or not. We all have the tools to learn what might not seem to come natur

Reviews for Learning How to Learn

"Over the past few years, some of education’s most notorious fads and gimmicks have justified themselves by claiming they will help you “learn how to learn”. Brain Gym and learning styles, for example, have zero evidence of impact, but they will often be defended with “learning how to learn” buzzwords. As a result, it’s understandable that the very phrase itself has become an indicator that some educational snake oil is just around the corner. Learning How to Learn by Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski is a glorious exception to this rule, reclaiming the phrase for people who care about the research and evidence. The book is written for children and gives a very accessible account of how our brains actually learn, accompanied by practical activities that you can put into action straight away. As well as rescuing the idea of “learning how to learn”, this book is a landmark in another way. As far as I know, it is the first attempt to explain some of the latest research in cognitive psychology to children and not just teachers. [Continue review here:]"

Daisy Christodoulou, Daisy Christodoulou is director of education at No More Marking and the author of Making Good Progress? and Seven Myths About Education. The review is in the Times Educational Supplement (TES), the UK's premier publications for the K12 world.


Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential


Reviews for Mindshift

"Following your passion is easy. Finding it is hard. This book is full of examples to help—people who have found their way around roadblocks or just plowed right through them."

Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

A Mind For Numbers

How to Excel at Math and Science

Whether you are a student struggling to fulfill a math or science requirement, or you are embarking on a career change that requires a new skill set, A Mind for Numbers offers the tools you need to get a better grasp of that intimidating material. Engi

Reviews for A Mind For Numbers

"A good teacher will leave you educated. But a great teacher will leave you curious. Well, Barbara Oakley is a great teacher. Not only does she have a mind for numbers, she has a way with words, and she makes every one of them count."

Mike Rowe, Creator and host of Discovery Channel’s "Dirty Jobs" and CEO of mikeroweWORKS

Other interests

Cold-Blooded Kindness

In this searing exploration of deadly codependency, the author takes the reader on a spellbinding voyage of discovery that examines the questions: Are some people naturally too caring? Is caring sometimes a mask for darker motives? Can science help us… Read more »

Hair of the Dog
Tales from Aboard a Russian Trawler

Barbara Oakley’s riveting portrayal of espionage, lust, comic adventure, hard work – and harder drinking – brings to life a little-known episode of American history when two cold-warring nations got together to fish the north Pacific. The joint fishing… Read more »

Pathological Altruism

The benefits of altruism and empathy are obvious. These qualities are so highly regarded and embedded in both secular and religious societies that it seems almost heretical to suggest they can cause harm. Like most good things, however, altruism can be… Read more »

Practicing Sustainability

Sustainability applies to everybody. But everybody applies it differently, by defining and shaping it differently—much as water is edged and shaped by its container. It is conceived in absolute terms but underpinned by a great diversity of relatively “… Read more »

Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend

Have you ever heard of a person who left you wondering, “How could someone be so twisted? So evil?” Prompted by clues in her sister’s diary after her mysterious death, author Barbara Oakley takes the reader inside the head of the kinds of malevolent pe… Read more »

Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Series in Biomedical Engineering

Series in Biomedical Engineering Bioengineering