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: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

by Daniel T. Willingham


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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 by Daniel T. Willingham

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

Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimedresearch on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. Hisbook will help teachers improve their practice by explaining howthey and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importanceof story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in buildingknowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.

  • Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications forthe classroom
  • Includes surprising findings, such as that intelligence ismalleable, and that you cannot develop "thinking skills" withoutfacts
  • How an understanding of the brain's workings can help teachershone their teaching skills

"Mr. Willingham's answers apply just as well outside theclassroom. Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents-anyone who cares about how we learn-should find his book valuablereading."
—Wall Street Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470591963
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/15/2010
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 93,515
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Daniel T. Willingham is professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. He writes the popular Ask the Cognitive Scientist column for American Educator magazine.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

The Author ix

Introduction 1

CHAPTER 1 Why Don’t Students Like School? 3

CHAPTER 2 How Can I Teach Students the Skills They Need WhenStandardized Tests Require Only Facts? 25

CHAPTER 3 Why Do Students Remember Everything That’s onTelevision and Forget Everything I Say? 53

CHAPTER 4 Why Is It So Hard for Students to Understand AbstractIdeas? 87

CHAPTER 5 Is Drilling Worth It?  107

CHAPTER 6 What’s the Secret to Getting Students to ThinkLike Real Scientists, Mathematicians, and Historians? 127

CHAPTER 7 How Should I Adjust My Teaching for Different Types ofLearners? 147

CHAPTER 8 How Can I Help Slow Learners? 169

CHAPTER 9 What About My Mind? 189

Conclusion 207

End Notes 214

Index 217

Credit Lines 225

What People are Saying About This

"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 theresearch, and the arguments,that will help you become a more effective teacher."

—Joe Riener, English teacher, Wilson High School, Washington, D.C.

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