Caroline's Reviews > Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

Why Don't Students Like School? by Daniel T. Willingham
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Sep 30, 11

bookshelves: education-books
Read in August, 2010

I absolutely loved this book. I think it should be a must read in teacher-training programs all over the country. For decades, people have expected teachers to have a background in child development to help them understand how to meet students where they are. As of yet, there is not as much of an emphasis on understanding cognitive science. However, cognitive science is way ahead of what teachers tend to know in terms of how people learn, and applying those experiments in the classroom can only serve to better teaching and education. The book is set up so that each chapter poses a new question he hears a lot from teachers (my favorite was "how come they can remember every word from a show they watched last night, but not a single thing they learned in math ten minutes ago?"), and then attempts to answer each question. His responses are straightforward and backed up with a huge body of research and, ultimately, common sense. I especially appreciated his recommendation for how teachers can become better teachers. Since learning is an active process and must be done through painstaking focus, most teachers stop learning how to be better teachers after three to five years. He recommends that teachers continue looking at each other's (and their own) teaching much in the same way clinical psychologists continue to study themselves with clients for 10 or more years.

Again, anybody who is currently a teacher or planning to become a teacher MUST read this book.
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Vicky Colorado Was going to write a review, but I think this says it perfectly. Must read for teachers. Period. :)


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