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If you are a teacher seeking to engage students or a parent with a child in school, Why Don’t Students Like School? is a very helpful book. It is widely applicable to students in K-12 or in college. A cognitive scientist, Dan Willingham brings his discipline and its insights to this very needy area. He lays out the fact that before students can be taught to think critically, they must have mastered basic information. Essentially, Willingham posits that the more students commit details to long-term memory, the better able they will be prepared to use their short-term memory and frontal lobe to deal with more pressing problems. Along the way he debunks popular concepts such as the “learning styles” line of thinking (auditory, visual, kinesthetic…) which has little support in the empirical literature. This is not an education bashing book, but the work of an individual genuinely interested in how we best teach students and engage them in thoughtful activity on a day-to-day basis. You may not like the book, but Willingham is persuasive. The reading of Paul Costanzo is excellent.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I would buy for all my new teachers and parents who say "i just don't understand why he/she is like this". Lots of insight to how the brain works and why students do what they do. A good summary of the latest research and how to use it to help get better engagement in the classroom.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A lot of learning theory books tell you these key principles, yet no book I've read so far has looked at it from this perspective. It is insightful, practical, drills down to core principles, and really makes you think deeper about the common learning trends which now people misuse so badly. Highly recommended to any teacher, parent, instructional designer, and learning specialist.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Very interesting book with some great information. For me, what let it down was the narrating. I just found the guy's voice to be a bit too monotonous.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful