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What if everything you knew about education was wrong? Hardcover – 19 Jun. 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

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Review

In short, this is my new favourite book on education. If I was still running a PGCE programme it would be required reading for my students, and I can think of no better choice for a book-study for experienced teachers. Anyone seriously interested in education should read this book. --Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Education

David Didau has written a truly remarkable book. No other book that I know of manages to integrate an in-the-trenches classroom-teaching perspective with an accessible coverage of critical findings from cognitive-science research. --Robert A. Bjork, Distinguished Research Professor, UCLA

This is a great book. Read it. David Didau has done exactly what anyone who knows his work will expect: to write convincingly, knowledgably, engagingly and provocatively about the interface between research and teaching. Almost everyone will find something to disagree with in this book, something to upset you, challenge your beliefs and either make you angry or make you think. However well-informed you are, Didau finds a crack, a weak point from which to infect you with doubt. Nothing is sacred: formative assessment, effect size and growth mindset all come under attack. But there is wisdom on every page, worthy of more detailed thought and study. If you can get beyond the feelings of uncertainty and challenge, you can learn a lot. This book contains the most classroom-focused presentation I know of the importance of key findings from cognitive psychology, such as the need for teachers to understand forgetting, spacing, testing and desirable difficulties. Didau is at heart a teacher; he understands teachers, classrooms and schools. But he understands research too and blends these elements into a coherent whole. Of course, I found a few things to quibble with: confusions over effect size and the difference between working and short-term memory, for example. But even those made me think again about things I thought I had resolved. This is the kind of book you could read quickly, but probably shouldn t. You could read it ten times and each time find something new. There is a canon of about a dozen books that I recommend to teachers most of which are cited in this one. My essential reading list has a new entry. --Professor Robert Coe, PhD , Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), Durham University

About the Author

David Didau is a freelance writer, blogger, speaker, trainer and author. He started his award-winning blog, The Learning Spy, in 2011 to express the constraints and irritations of ordinary teachers, detail the successes and failures within his own classroom, and synthesise his years of teaching experience through the lens of educational research and cognitive psychology. Since then he has spoken at various national conferences, has directly influenced Ofsted and has worked with the Department for Education to consider ways in which teachers workload could be reduced.

He is the author of the hugely successful titles 'The Secret of Literacy', in which he urges teachers to make the implicit explicit , and 'What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong?', in which he turns his attention to the myriad unexamined assumptions that underlie education and explores how schools might realign their practices with how children actually learn.

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 November 2015
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2016
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 November 2015
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2016
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M. Howe
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the "red pill".
Reviewed in the United States on 14 August 2017
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Daniel Ethier
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on education I've read!
Reviewed in the United States on 4 July 2015
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Eric L. Kalenze
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey educator/parent/ed policymaker: Going to read one education book this year? Make it this one.
Reviewed in the United States on 3 October 2015
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J. Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Make this a key part of your ongoing professional development.
Reviewed in the United States on 26 June 2015
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