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Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470276679
ISBN-10: 0470276673
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Powerful Learning

Linda Darling-Hammond, Brigid Barron, P. David Pearson, Alan H. Schoenfeld, Elizabeth K. Stage, Timothy D. Zimmerman, Gina N. Cervetti, Jennifer L. Tilson

Powerful Learning is a comprehensive and engaging record of the most effective K–12 teaching practices—including project-based learning, cooperative learning, performance-based assessment, as well as instructional strategies in literacy, mathematics, and science. The authors explore the ways in which these models generate meaningful student understanding through rich classroom stories and correlating online videos of innovative teaching (located at www.edutopia.org). This book offers insights into how educators can enable students to think critically, transfer skills and knowledge, and be flexible problem solvers?both inside and outside the classroom walls.

Praise for Powerful Learning

"Powerful Learning is a great compendium of approaches to teaching that can generate real learning. It reviews the relevant research base, offers practical examples of the research in use, and focuses on long-term goals—and how various teaching and learning activities support these goals."
—Catherine Snow, Henry Lee Shattuck Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"This outstanding book is a 'must read'— the authors make so many crystal clear and helpful arguments for the need to teach for understanding."
—John Bransford, James W. Mifflin University Professor of Education and Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle

"We are extraordinarily lucky to have this highly readable book that helps us make 'powerful learning' not just a slogan, but a reality. "
—Deborah Meier, senior scholar and adjunct professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education

About the Author

Linda Darling-Hammond is Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University where she has launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. She has also served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and member of the National Academy of Education. Her research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994-2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America s Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America s Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education. In 2006, this report was named one of the most influential affecting U.S. education and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade. Among Darling-Hammond s more than 300 publications are Preparing Teachers for a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and be Able to Do (with John Bransford, for the National Academy of Education, winner of the Pomeroy Award from AACTE), Teaching as the Learning Profession: A Handbook of Policy and Practice (Jossey-Bass: 1999) (co-edited with Gary Sykes), which received the National Staff Development Council s Outstanding Book Award for 2000; and The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Schools that Work, recipient of the American Educational Research Association s Outstanding Book Award for 1998.

Brigid Barron is Associate Professor of the Learning Sciences in Stanford University's School of Education and directs the YouthLAB research group.

P. David Pearson, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a former co-director of the Center for the Study of Reading and president of the National Reading Conference and the National Conference of Research in English. His numerous publications include the Handbook of Reading Research, now in its third edition and Reading Difficulties: Instruction and Assessment.

Alan Schoenfeld is the Elizabeth and Edward Conner Professor of Education and Affiliated Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Chen is executive director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. He is a frequent speaker and media commentator on issues of education and the media.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (July 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470276673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470276679
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in a teacher-friendly style, this book combines research and practice to produce ideas about powerful learning that contradict the movement across the country to teaching mindless, fragmented, and conceptually weak curriculum to children and youth, especially children of the poor and English learners. This is good reading that offers hope for teachers. I am a bit concerned that it doesn't deal much with issues of racism and class, or that it doesn't include critical approaches to teaching, but it does offer ideas about inquiry teaching across content areas that are refreshing.
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Teachers often search for information with immediate relevance to their classroom teaching. Educators who write books focus on research about learning that sometimes seems to busy teachers too far removed from the realities of daily classroom life to have practical application. Linda Darling-Hammond has edited a book that brings together the best of both worlds: research and classroom reality. Powerful Learning clearly illustrates the reciprocal relationship between innovative classroom practice and what is known about how children learn best. Each chapter is at the same time personal, relevant, and inspiring. Both new and seasoned teachers will read it and feel prepared, not only to try out new practices, but to know exactly why they are doing so.
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This book is an excellent overview of research studies that focus on different techniques for deeper learning. That means helping students truly understand what they are learning so they can apply what they learn to new situations. The first part of the book talks about general techniques including project and problem based learning and collaborative learning. The next three sections talk about techniques as they apply to reading, math, and science. Numerous research studies are cited throughout, noting their conclusions and how those conclusions relate to other studies. Examples are also included. While i have been convinced of the power of project based learning and collaborative learning for some time, I found it helpful to understand the research and, particularly, how the authors bring everything together bringing out the key features that make the techniques so powerful as well as ways different approaches apply to different situations.

Given the focus within education today on test taking and related memorization approaches, it is quite remarkable to see how much is really known about teaching for deeper understanding. It certainly cannot be said that we don't know any better ways to educate kids after reading this book. I just wish the practices overviewed here were more common in schools today.

High recommended!
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By M Brown on February 22, 2015
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Notes throughout the book in the margins...
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