Tag Archives: brains

My booksnap notes of: “Why don’t students like school?” By Daniel Willingham

Over the last few weeks I read ‘Why don’t students like school’ by Daniel Willingham. It was a very popular book when it was published in 2009. While I enjoyed the read and got some good ideas and notions out of it, this book has not made a big impact on my understanding of teaching. I  found the suggestions quite common sense and straight forward and found the style a bit too narrative at times.

I realise that Willingham is a professor of Psychology with a specialisation in neuroscience; something I am clearly not. But as an experienced teacher I have seen first hand the many things that he points out in his book.

While reading I like to make visual booksnaps using Piccollage. This strategy allows the information to rattle around in my working memory a bit longer; I DO something with the info which means that it will (hopefully) be stored better in my long term memory. Willingham explains this in Chapter 1, page 10, “How thinking works”.

I print the booksnaps off and will refer to them occasionally to remind myself of what I  have read. You can download all of them here in one PDF.

This book is also part of the holiday reading for the Twitter #edureading group.
All the info you need can be found here: sites.google.com/view/educational-reading-group/

Here are my booksnap notes: Continue reading

Taking a step back to see the greater scheme of things….

The holidays have started and it is nearly Christmas. Now is a good time to take a step back and be reminded that it’s about making the most of the fleeting moments that we are lucky enough to be conscious of in the great lottery of the uni/multiverse.

I’ll start with a famous creation story by the environmentalist David Brower. He calculated that if the earth was only 6 days old, human beings would have only been around less than half a second before mid night on the last night. When I read things like that, as a parent, a history teacher and a human being, I am struck by how we are simultaneously insignificant and very powerful.

I am also including the first page of Bill Bryson’s masterful “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. He makes it very clear that we are nothing but star dust; I love it. We should all realise that our daily worries and stresses are insignificant in the greater scheme of things…. Continue reading

Teenage Brains – Interesting reading

Below are my highlighted sections from a National Geographic article about the teenage brain and how it has evolved to crave the company of peers and take risks. 

So much more out there. Here’s a link to more: http://goo.gl/u4ItD.

Also read: http://diigo.com/0ksxe, which is my annotated link from this article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/structural-changes-in-teenage-brains-causes-dramatic-shifts-in-intelligence/story-e6frg6so-1226171382504.

Both links courtesy of our Head of PD!

Teenage Brains – Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine

    • To see past the distracting, dopey teenager and glimpse the adaptive  adolescent within, we should look not at specific, sometimes startling,  behaviors, such as skateboarding down stairways or dating fast company, but at  the broader traits that underlie those acts. Continue reading