Paul Signorelli's Reviews > Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

Now You See It by Cathy N. Davidson
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Mar 15, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: brain, change, collaboration, innovation, learning, training, workplace-learning-and-performance
Read in March, 2012

Cathy Davidson is an engaging, thoughtful, and thought-provoking writer; she also is a justifiably admired educator (former vice provost for interdisciplinary studies at Duke University) who clearly puts her attention on the learners she serves. And she has plenty to teach all trainer-teacher-learners about what we're doing right as well as what we're failing miserably to achieve. Her goal, she tells us right up front in "Now You See It," is to provide "a positive, practical, and even hopeful story about attention in our digital age" by exposing us to "research in brain science, education, and workplace psychology to find the best ways to learn and change in challenging times" (p. 6). And she delivers. Convincingly. Starting with a summary of an experiment that shows how much we miss around us by focusing too closely on certain details because we have learned to block out the overwhelming amount of stimulation that routinely comes our way, Davidson suggests that our learning process needs to include at least three steps: learning, unlearning, and relearning--and the sort of collaboration that allows us to rely on others to help us see what we otherwise would miss. We travel with Davidson through studies of how gaming can effectively be used in learning. How engaging learners in the learning process by making them partners recreates the learning experience to produce tremendously positive results. And there are also wonderful stories illustrating the difference in attitudes between young learners in a failing magnet school and those in a demographically similar school that "exemplifies the best in public education" (p. 97). Those of us who take the time to read--and reread--what she offers in "Now You See It," giving it the attention it deserves, may be able to help others past those feelings of loss and deficit and failure. And help ourselves as well.
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