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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 [Paperback]

Daniel T. Willingham
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 15 2010
Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in 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

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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 + When Can You Trust the Experts: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education + Teacher Proof: Why research in education doesn't always mean what it claims, and what you can do about it
Price For All Three: CDN$ 64.81

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"Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents---anyone who cares about how we learn---should find his book valuable reading." ---The Wall Street Journal --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"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 the research, 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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Practical Guide to Teaching June 20 2009
I really enjoyed reading this book, Willingham is a Harvard trained psychologist but he avoids a lot of the jargon, spares us the psycho-babble, and instead provides practical pedagogy guidelines for us teachers on how to harness the potential cognition of our students.

I won't give them away, but as Willingham says himself, most of his conclusions and guidelines are more or less common knowledge, but the beauty of the book is in the way he is able to communicate it -- he does so in a very straightforward manner with good use of visuals. He uses good examples to illustrate his points.

Overall, I highly recommend this book for anyone studying educational psychology, or anyone in the K-12 teaching field.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An explanation of how memory works June 22 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book goes into many examples of how our memory works and how to consider the traditional learning practice and how they are impacted by memory. It is written in fairly basic terms that are easy to understand - as a teacher, I found it was a quick read that reviewed most of what I already knew. Nothing earth shadering - but important to remember as a teacher to engage students as effectively as possible.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Daniel Willingham addresses several key questions regarding the validity of the educational experience. This book is an easy to read, yet academically sound, examination of current trends in education that dispels many common understandings about subjects like multiple intelligences and learning styles. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must-read for teachers and students Aug. 20 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr. Willingham discusses here nine principles of learning and teaching. Practical, relevant and robustly supported by scientific research.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for teachers Jan. 8 2011
As an educator I find this book to be an extremely important for my own professional development and I would go so far as to say it should be required reading for all teachers. The contents of this book, however, are not just for educators. This book, written in easy to read layman's terms, is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the way the human brain works and the implications of that on our daily lives.
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