Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for 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 intelligence is malleable, and that you cannot develop "thinking skills" without facts
- How an understanding of the brain's workings can help teachers hone their teaching skills
"Mr. Willingham's 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
The Author ix
CHAPTER 1 Why Don’t Students Like School? 3
CHAPTER 2 How Can I Teach Students the Skills They Need When Standardized Tests Require Only Facts? 25
CHAPTER 3 Why Do Students Remember Everything That’s on Television and Forget Everything I Say? 53
CHAPTER 4 Why Is It So Hard for Students to Understand Abstract Ideas? 87
CHAPTER 5 Is Drilling Worth It? 107
CHAPTER 6 What’s the Secret to Getting Students to Think Like Real Scientists, Mathematicians, and Historians? 127
CHAPTER 7 How Should I Adjust My Teaching for Different Types of Learners? 147
CHAPTER 8 How Can I Help Slow Learners? 169
CHAPTER 9 What About My Mind? 189
End Notes 214
Credit Lines 225
- Author with expert credentials. Unlike most brain-learning authors on the market, Willingham is not a mere synthesizer of the research. He has actually done the research.
- Strong education platform. Author has a regular column in the American Educator (circ: 850,000) and is closely allied with E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Foundation.
- Need-to-Know Content: While backed by scientific evidence, the information is practical and can be put to use by classroom teachers.
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 ofa 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 bookin 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 the research, and the arguments,that will help you become a more effective teacher."
Joe Riener, English teacher, Wilson High School, Washington, D.C.