I feel a little late to the party having only just finished reading Daniel T Willingham’s Why Don’t Students Like School. The book was released in 2009, and every new page seemed to add relevance to dozens of blogs I’ve read over the past couple of years. For this reason, I’m sure that the book has been widely read -it certainly appears to have influenced a lot of people’s thinking.
For those of you who haven’t read it, the author is a Cognitive Scientist, and throughout the book he gives a huge range of information about how the brain works, with practical advice about the implications for teachers. One of the central messages from the book is that what we think most carefully about is what we a re most likely to learn. What follows now are my thoughts, as an English teacher, about how the messages from this book should alter the way I think about teaching. After all, the more I think about it, the more I’ll remember it.