Teaching Minds: How Cognitive Science Can Save Our Schools Paperback – Nov 15 2011
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About the Author
Roger Schank was the founder of the renowned Institute for the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University, where he is John P. Evans Professor Emeritus in Computer Science, Education, and Psychology. Visit Dr, Shanks's website at www.rogerschank.com and read his blog: educationoutrage.blogspot.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Students want to get it over, move on, and get out. No matter how much I wanted them to love what I told them to do, only a few responded happily--and only rarely. They may have been people-pleasers; they may have genuinely liked the work or been grateful to get away from home.
I found Schank through articles in The Washington Post: "No, algebra isn't necessary--and yes, STEM is overrated" and "Why kids hate school--subject by subject".
Student resistance is to be expected, he says. You cannot teach someone something that 1. Does not help achieve some goal they actually hold; 2. Is not in line with their personality; 3. Goes against their subconscious beliefs. You can try. You won't succeed.
He goes on to list the CAPACITIES students should have, like how to diagnose, how to plan, how to influence, how to negotiate, etc.These skills come layered into the goals people naturally set for themselves as a means of getting something they want. They come from doing, trying, and failing. A car fanatic learns to diagnose engines. A parent learns to diagnose a child's quirks and cries. A gamer diagnoses how to advance levels.
Several capacities go along with any situation. Schank says that forcing people to learn subjects separate from each other ("Now let's learn to PLAN!") and devoid of a personal goal is a waste and ineffective.
He also lists *how* to teach these capacities, like "Don't teach it unless you can easily explain the use of learning it" and "A teacher's job is not to tell facts; it's to get students to understand the world better...to encourage them to take on more...to force students to come to conclusions by confronting what they already believe..."
Teachers are not the source of knowledge anymore. They are the mentors "encouraging thinking by making sure students have something confusing to think about."
I don't write reviews very often, and I write negative reviews less often. But the title of this book is misleading. I am a teacher, and I am interested in how cognitive science can improve teaching and schools. This book has nothing to offer in that respect. I am disappointed in the Teaching College for publishing this book with a title so inappropriate to the content.