More about why students don’t like school…

51vv10u+C2L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_So this book was so awesome I took notes summarising it so you don’t have to read it. Unless you want to. It is a great book.

Why don’t students like school? – Daniel Willingham

  • the brain avoids thinking if it can
    • but it like solving problems
    • make sure there are problems to be solved
    • make the problems doable
      • remember working memory (4 bits)
      • must have background knowledge
    • make sure lessons have questions, not just answers
    • give different problems to different people
  • factual knowledge must precede skill
    • critical thinking is tied in with background knowledge
    • people understand more if they have more background knowledge
    • background knowledge allows chunking – which increases working memory
    • background knowledge is necessary for cognitive skills
      • a lot of ‘thinking’ is actually remembering
    • people use memory to answer problems a lot
    • reading is the best way to get knowledge
    • teach new content through the lens of similar ideas
    • knowledge needed before skill development
    • get kids to read
    • knowledge acquisition can be incidental
  • memory is the residue of thought
    • you remember what you think about
    • if something creates an emotional reaction it is more likely to be remembered
    • wanting to remember has little effect
    • students have to think about the meaning of the material in the right way
      • e. in a way related to the meaning like cause and effect not some weird drawings
    • so linking it to students’ lives is actually distracting
  • students just want teachers that are organised and nice to people (can form connections)
  • students remember stories
    • stories need: causality, conflict, complications and character
      • include these elements in lesson plans
    • but not too much information in the stories – the reason you remember stories is because you have to do a lot of thinking about htem to figure them out
    • get students to remember by getting them to think about what something means
    • mnemonics – peg word, memory palace, link method, acronym method, first letter method, song
  • ask – what will this lesson make students think about?
  • use analogies
  • explain abstract concepts with familiar examples
    • and get students to compare the analogy to the real thing
  • ask questions that target the deep thinking / underlying structure
  • practice needed to get better at a mental task
    • to automate them
    • so they don’t use working memory
    • it therefore enables further learning
    • practice also improves transfer
    • practice should be spaced out
    • make practice interesting – mix it up with other skills
  • don’t get students to emulate experts – they don’t have enough knowledge
  • VAK doesn’t work because it is meaning that is being tested, not VAK skills
  • but you can use VAK to vary context, to create engagement
  • learn by failure, so you have to do stuff that is hard
  • teach study skills
  • don’t praise sub-standard work for slower students
  • teachers need to practice teaching
    • try and get better
    • seek feedback
    • do things to improve teaching skills (bring it back into the classroom – one thing at a time)
    • film yourself teachingWhy don’t students like school? – Daniel Willingham
      • the brain avoids thinking if it can
        • but it like solving problems
        • make sure there are problems to be solved
        • make the problems doable
          • remember working memory (4 bits)
          • must have background knowledge
        • make sure lessons have questions, not just answers
        • give different problems to different people
      • factual knowledge must precede skill
        • critical thinking is tied in with background knowledge
        • people understand more if they have more background knowledge
        • background knowledge allows chunking – which increases working memory
        • background knowledge is necessary for cognitive skills
          • a lot of ‘thinking’ is actually remembering
        • people use memory to answer problems a lot
        • reading is the best way to get knowledge
        • teach new content through the lens of similar ideas
        • knowledge needed before skill development
        • get kids to read
        • knowledge acquisition can be incidental
      • memory is the residue of thought
        • you remember what you think about
        • if something creates an emotional reaction it is more likely to be remembered
        • wanting to remember has little effect
        • students have to think about the meaning of the material in the right way
          • e. in a way related to the meaning like cause and effect not some weird drawings
        • so linking it to students’ lives is actually distracting
      • students just want teachers that are organised and nice to people (can form connections)
      • students remember stories
        • stories need: causality, conflict, complications and character
          • include these elements in lesson plans
        • but not too much information in the stories – the reason you remember stories is because you have to do a lot of thinking about htem to figure them out
        • get students to remember by getting them to think about what something means
        • mnemonics – peg word, memory palace, link method, acronym method, first letter method, song
      • ask – what will this lesson make students think about?
      • use analogies
      • explain abstract concepts with familiar examples
        • and get students to compare the analogy to the real thing
      • ask questions that target the deep thinking / underlying structure
      • practice needed to get better at a mental task
        • to automate them
        • so they don’t use working memory
        • it therefore enables further learning
        • practice also improves transfer
        • practice should be spaced out
        • make practice interesting – mix it up with other skills
      • don’t get students to emulate experts – they don’t have enough knowledge
      • VAK doesn’t work because it is meaning that is being tested, not VAK skills
      • but you can use VAK to vary context, to create engagement
      • learn by failure, so you have to do stuff that is hard
      • teach study skills
      • don’t praise sub-standard work for slower students
      • teachers need to practice teaching
        • try and get better
        • seek feedback
        • do things to improve teaching skills (bring it back into the classroom – one thing at a time)
        • film yourself teaching

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