Top positive review
37 people found this helpful
Short, concise book on the right and wrong of learning
on November 14, 2000
This excellent book on learning reemphasizes the mistakes that are being made as far as teaching children (and actually adults). In educational departments in universities, too often more importance is placed on rote learning and not on helping learning to be an enjoyable experience. I am afraid too many teachers are being churned out that feel the pressure to produce for standardized testing, without realizing that learning this same information can happen in such a way as to make it enjoyable, make sense, and be remembered for a lifetime. At this time, too many times students remember for only short-term recall, and then promptly lose the knowledge after the test. Learning is a continual and lifetime process, and Frank Smith reiterates the mistakes that teaching in the U.S. is making in emphasizing the wrong way to learn.
The information Smith gives is vitally important, and he makes several very quotable statements concerning learning and memory which I have used (citing him) in papers. The book is almost too short, and not as readable as I would have liked it. Nevertheless this is an absolute must read for educators, and for would-be teachers prior to entering their teaching jobs. It is also important for those going into educational research and educational testing to be aware of. We can and should expect children to learn, but we definitely are not approaching it the right way. This book can provide plenty of topics for discussions in education departments across the country. Testing should not be the ends, but rather the ability to learn over a lifetime and the ability to continue this process from indirect sources once out of the school system. Karen Sadler, Science Education, University of Pittsburgh