Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom Hardcover – 7 Apr 2009
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"Drilling often conjures up images of late–19th–century schoolhouses, with students singsonging state capitals in unison without much comprehension of what they have learned," ( New York Times , 2010) "But Mr. Willingham′s answers apply just as well outside the classroom. Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents –– anyone who cares about how we learn –– should find his book valuable reading." ( Wall Street Journal , April 29, 2009)
"Just like his Ask the Cognitive Scientist column, Dan Willingham′s book makes fascinating but complicated research from cognitive science accessible to teachers. It is jam packed with ideas that teachers willfind both intellectually rich and useful in their classroom work." —Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers "This readable, practical book by a distinguished cognitivescientist explains the universal roots of effective teaching and learning. With great wit and authority it practices the principles it preaches. It is the best teachers′ guide I know of—a classic that belongs in the book bag of every teacher from preschool to grad school." —E. D. Hirsch, Jr., university professor emeritus, University of Virginia "Dan Willingham, rare among cognitive scientists for also being awonderful writer, has produced a book about learning in school that readslike a trip through a wild and thrilling new country. For teachers and parents, even students, there are surprises on every page. Did you know, for instance,that our brains are not really made for thinking?" —Jay Mathews, education columnist, The Washington Post "Educators will love this wonderful book—in clear and compelling language, Willingham shows how the most important discoveries from the cognitive revolution can be used to improve teaching and inspire students in the classroom." —John Gabrieli, Grover Hermann Professor of Health Sciences,Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Scientists know so much more than we knew thirty years ago about how children learn. This book offers you the research, and the arguments,that will help you become a more effective teacher." —Joe Riener, English teacher, Wilson High School, Washington, D.C. “A must read for those wishing to improve their classroom and those looking for ways to help their students be successful.” —G.L. Willhite, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse—Highly RecommendedSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
First, it's packed full of practical ideas. If you want to know how to improve the way you use stories, knowledge or problems, examples, practice or mnemonics, there's no better author than Dan Willingham.
Second, it distills three decades of scientific research into how the brain works. Thirty years of evidence is crystalised at your fingertips: all of it tailored to the classroom.
Third, it opens your eyes as to why certain things aren't working. For instance, why don't they remember anything I tell them? Because I'm starving them of stories and mnemonics that make content memorable. Why can't they understand the concepts? Because I've starved them of concrete examples. Why can't they interpret critically? Because they don't have a sufficiently secure foundation of background knowledge of the text. Willingham's brilliant diagnosis sheds light onto why students struggle at school.
This link explains why:
Of course, our progressive educators make it sound very convincing, citing numerous studies conducted at the Institute of Education and other prestigous institutions. However, educators live in a hermetically-sealed world, where other serious disciplines are generally ignored. Dan Willingham, a distinguished American cognitive scientist, exposes the fraudulent nature of progressive mythology. Children cannot learn all-purpose 'critical thinking skills'--why anyone supposed they could is a complete mystery. If you want to master any serious academic discipline, there aren't any shortcuts: you really do need to know a lot. The web won't help you--if you don't know a lot about a subject already, the information you find won't mean much to you.
This book is superbly written. Willingham makes his points with well-chosen examples. It is written at the level of the educated lay reader--it's a good introduction to a complex subject, and it deals with learning at a level that parents and teachers will be able to understand. If you have any interest at all in education, buy this book--it will open your eyes.
“Curriculum content - geologic history, moon phases, cellular respiration etc. - is presented as answers to questions, solutions to problems. There is extensive use of storytelling both through stories of real individuals (scientists in my case) and through making stories around natural phenomena. There is a recognition of the importance of practice to enable learners to have key knowledge and skills in their long term memory. Students are not expected to have expertise in tasks such as carrying out full investigations to create new knowledge. The role of the students is that of novice developing appropriate skills and, over time, deep understandings. The teacher is careful to evaluate lessons by considering what it is that the students will think about during the lesson.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Time for educators to emerge from a dark age of old wive's tales and misinformed or misinterpreted understanding of thinking and learning. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I now know why this is popular with politicians - it's very simplistic.Published 3 months ago by Richard Newton Chance
Great read, although like all writing on education you do need to test t against your current system. Certainly makes you think!Published 4 months ago by Mrs Jane C Bubb
This is a great book because it provides a clear explaination of what science is telling us about learning and then how to use that knowledge to improve learning in the classroom. Read morePublished 9 months ago by lindarussell28
I have only just started readng this. I am well disposed towards it, it's been recommended by a blogger I respect, and I am eager to see what there is to learn from the Olsen twins... Read morePublished 11 months ago by morelearning
The problem is that it is a cognitive psychologist writing about education. It's not his field. The model of education referred to is largely the antiquated state system thinking... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dan
A must read for all interested in the sciences associated with learning capability. Some excellent pointers as to how to deliver study content so as to make it 'learnable' for more... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Philip Barcilon