Why Don't Students Like School?

Why Don't Students Like School? : A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

4.04 (4,459 ratings by Goodreads)

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Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the classroomCognitive 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 161 x 225 x 17mm | 294g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, ports.
  • 047059196X
  • 9780470591963
  • 16,275

Back cover copy

Praise for Why Don't Students Like School?

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

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 will find both intellectually rich and useful in their classroom work.
--Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers

This readable, practical book by a distinguished cognitive scientist 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 a wonderful writer, has produced a book about learning in school that reads like 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.

Why Don't Students Like School? now comes with online discussion questions. Go to www.josseybass.com/go/willingham.
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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 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 Conclusion 207 End Notes 214 Index 217 Credit Lines 225
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About Daniel T. Willingham

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.
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Rating details

4,459 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 36% (1,624)
4 38% (1,713)
3 19% (867)
2 4% (189)
1 1% (66)
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