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Five Big Ideas for Effective Teaching: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to Classroom Practice Paperback – May 19, 2013
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"When it comes to the research based practices that have the biggest impact on students, this book serves as a powerful primer. Novices will be able to weed out other kinds of practices, many obsolete, which don’t have research support; experienced teachers will be able to review their own instructional repertoire, clean out the closet, as it were, and add new insights to their instructional wardrobes. Principals and professional developers will want this book in their reference libraries and parents will find it a solid source for helping their own children learn more effectively."
-- P21 Blogazine: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills
"This text is well-written and researched. I would recommend it to any professor, teacher, or administrator trying to improve instruction."
"Wilson and Conyers are experienced educators willing to tackle complex pedagogical concepts."
-- Teaching Theology and Religion
"The title promises ideas for effective teaching, and the book delivers on this promise in clear, compelling, and believable prose. This is a book for educators, for policy makers, for parents, and even for presidents."
―From the Foreword by Robert Calfee, professor emeritus, Stanford University
“The text, from my perspective, is universal and a must-read at every level for the 21st-century educator. Every school of education should make it mandatory reading and Deans should hop on-board and make it a required roundtable text for their faculties.”
―Douglas Stewart, O’More College
“Five Big Ideas is an interdisciplinary book like no other currently in publication. Wilson and Conyers innovatively combine theory and research on learning, intelligence, brain anatomy and processes, sociocultural contexts, and teaching. The bridge to practice is articulated clearly, setting the stage for a new paradigm in teacher education and how we consider learning.”
―Deborah Schussler, Villanova University
"This is one of the best books on neuroscience and education. Given the new core standards, topics in the book are just what teachers need.”
―Debby Zambo, Arizona State University
About the Author
Donna Wilson is lead developer of graduate programs with majors in brain-based teaching with the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education at Nova Southeastern University. Marcus Conyers is cofounder of the Center for Innovative Education and Prevention.
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The big ideas it covers are: neurocognitive plasticity, learning potential, the modifiability of intelligence, the role of the body-brain system in learning, and the need for explicit instruction on metacognition. The authors don't just tell you what you should do...they tell you the brain research behind every component!
I honestly believe this should be required reading for every educator. Thank you Dr. Wilson and Conyers for this amazing resource!
Wilson and Conyers state that everything in the book can be applied to teachers as well as students. The importance of clearing up misconceptions about intelligence is not only essential for educators, but for students to understand as well. For example, the first big idea is brain plasticity. An entire chapter is devoted to a discussion on how the brain changes in physical structure due to learning new things. It was previously thought that the brain stopped developing at age 12, but research shows this is not true at all. Not only does learning change the physical structure of the brain constantly throughout our lives, but also the ways in which students view the world around them. Another chapter discusses metacognitive skills. Explicitly teaching students how to take total control of their learning with the use of metacognitive strategies will not only provide them with a platform for developing critical thinking skills, but also will teach them the fundamentals of becoming a life long learner and society contributor.
The book brings many other educational professionals, writers, and organizations to attention as well, for the support of ideas. With support from research of the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society, Vygotsky, Piaget, and many others, this book provides substantial support of educational psychology research. This book is an excellent informational tool for educational professionals. The reading is light and informative, and often very interesting. After reading this book I have gained a broader mindset of how to teach students explicit strategies for metacognitive skills, cleared up some misconceptions about the brain and education, and have formed thoughts on ways to better interact with colleagues to better support my own teaching methods. I would recommend the ideas of this book be an essential core of every educational professional’s classroom.