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Why Dont Students Like School A Cognitive Scientis - A Necessity For Teachers

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					  Why Dont Students Like School: A
     Cognitive Scientist Answers
    Questions About How the Mind
   Works and What It Means for the
  Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham


                 Very Pleased With The Book; Loved This Author


Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the
classroom

   Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on
the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers
improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and
learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and
routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.
Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the
classroom       Includes surprising findings, such as that inte lligence is
malleable, and that you cannot develop thinking skills without facts        How
an understanding of the brains workings can help teachers hone their
teaching skills         Mr. Willinghams 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

Features:
* ISBN13: 9780470591963
* Condition: NEW
* Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Personal Review: Why Dont Students Like School: A Cognitive
Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and
What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham
I get tired of hearing the phrase, "Brain research shows..." to prove
whatever point teachers are trying to show at the time. Whether it is about
the importance of play, the use of movies, standing on your head before a
test, or studying on the toilet, educators pull these three words and throw
them down on the table like the trump card they've been saving to
illuminate a point. The problem is that most teachers, including me, have
no idea about brain research or even where to begin. Because of this, I
sought to find a book to offer a basic understanding for dum-dums like me.

The subtitle of this book is, "A cognitive scientist answers questions about
how the mind works and what it means for your classroom." This is a better
explanation for the information, as I still don't know why students don't like
school (perhaps it has something to do with me!). I suppose I could sum up
the book as follows:

1.    People are naturally curious.
2.    Teachers create "problems" far too easy or too difficult.
3.    Students do not have background information necessary to engage
a problem, thus making it easy to quit.
4.    Teachers present information in a disconnected way, thus students
cannot remember background information to address critical thinking
problems.
5.    Students sit and force themselves to hold back both sleep and drool,
while dreaming about that cute girl sitting in the fr ont.
6.    Students are no longer curious.

As I read, I made liberal notes throughout, and it will be a book to revisit. If
you are a teacher, I think that you'll find this to be an important work for
your professional growth. At face value, here are the thr ee main points that
I have thought most about since completing this:

1.     As I already listed, people are naturally curious. I like this idea, and I
must remember it as I teach. Am I creating problems that challenge
students to think and wrestle with in class, problems that are still within
their reach for success? Reducing the amount of other work to focus on
more of this kind of work is something that I want to do. This includes
offering more opportunities for students to play with language and words.
Sometimes, I forget about this as I try to meet content standards.

2.      Memorization is important, as it provides the building blocks for
critical thinking. The author is not suggesting long lists of information to
remember. However, in order for our brains to conquer a problem, basic
materials are needed. This could be definitions, word parts, poetry,
multiplication tables, etc. Modern teaching often belittles memorizing as
outdated pedagogy, but when students do not know the times tables or
what the definition of an allusion is, the critical thinking engagement is
crippled.

3.     The effectiveness of "multiple intelligences" is over-emphasized in
education. According to Wellingham, educators put too much stock in this,
as there does not seem to be different intelligences, rather strengths and
talents. We do students a disservice when we tell them that they are smart
in some area, even if they are not the same. His suggestion is that we
focus on varying the lessons (sometimes visual, using music, acting, etc.)
rather than on each student. This is the area that teachers will squirm and
protest the most. Multiple intelligences are the sacred cows of education. If
you don't believe me, as a teacher you know about them. Their eyes will
light up as they tell you about how they had students act out what a
commas does or sing about a Picasso painting.

Why Don't Students Like School? is the perfect primer for educators to get
a peek into the complex and deep world of brain research. I still won't use
"brain research shows..." in my next conversation, but I found this book a
good first step in understanding how it relates to education.

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