- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047059196X
- ISBN-13: 978-0470591963
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 186 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom 1st Edition
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"Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents---anyone who cares about how we learn---should find his book valuable reading." ---The Wall Street Journal --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
"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 Recommended
Top customer reviews
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I have been a big fan of Dr. Willingham's articles and other books for years, yet the title of this book somehow kept me from purchasing and reading it. Big mistake! Its contents are not limited to teaching children. The insights are relevant for effective presentations, employee training, student self-diagnosis, tutoring, and other learning/teaching situations.
This book was published in 2009. Five years later, it is still the best starting point for taking control of your own learning and the teaching of others at any level from pre-K to graduate and professional school to continuing education and professional development. I have worked as a high school science teacher, university instructor, and training engineer. This book provides the theories and the models which clarify what techniques and methods work and why they do.
In an engaging and conversational style, the author brings cognitive science results to bear on our "common knowledge" about teaching, and turns our common assumptions upside down. For instance, the brain is not designed to think. Furthermore, the popular concept of visual-auditory-kinesthetic learners has no basis in fact.
Dr. Willingham explains cognitive research findings, and discusses how teachers can practically apply these results in the classroom. He peppers his book with illustrations and real life examples, which prevent the material from coming across as dry.
Some of the most profound ideas come in the final chapters: we should not praise a child for being "smart", but rather praise effort. Why? Because intelligence can be changed through sustained hard work. Children who are slow learners can often overcome shortcomings through harder effort. This has important implications for both teachers and parents.
He also gives practical advice for improving your teaching [because, like intelligence, teaching skill--and performance--can be improved with practice]. A great example is to find another teacher to work with, and videotape yourselves in the classroom. Then, you can both analyze teaching performance (in a supportive way).
For anyone who is interested in becoming a better teacher, or for parents who are interested in having their children learn optimally, I highly recommend this book. I am already buying copies for friends!
If you think but do not learn, you are in danger.
This is an old quote from the Analects of Confucius stating the importance of both the passive rote memorization of facts (learning), and the active intellectual activity of reflection and investigation (thinking). In this book, Willingham backs up the wisdom of this saying with the results of modern cognitive science research.
Though much emphasis has been placed in teaching research circles on the importance of active learning (i.e. thinking), Willingham points out a very simple and obvious fact that is often overlooked: in order to think about anything, you have to know about it first. And not all the facts that must be learned can be made interesting or relevant to the students' lives and rote memorization via extensive drilling is sometimes unavoidable.
With this insight in mind, he discusses the pros and cons of various teaching techniques which are often promoted as "good practices." He clarifies the strengths, limitations, and pitfalls of each, and provides simple principles the instructor should follow to maximize the learning experience of the student. They are all quite simple and also agreeable since they will all hit a note with anyone's past experience, whether as a teacher or a student. If you are an educator, regardless of your subject matter or experience, this book is a must read.