Sunday, January 2, 2011


There were quite a few concepts in, Why Don't Students Like School? that I think will affect the way that I approach teaching in my classroom.

First, the concept that people are naturally curious. I don't know how many times that I have wondered why the kindergarteners in our school seem so excited to be there and anxious to learn when compared to my middle school students. It seems that as the years go on the students become less enamored with the idea of learning, yet they still are curious and want to think about the things that interest them. Chapter one in this book made me think about how I approach teaching in my classroom, and made me think about different ways to use questions and inquiry based learning to engage my students.

Second, the fact that background knowledge is important. While I read the chapter that focused on background knowledge I couldn't help but think of my students who struggle. This also tied in with the idea in Chapter 8 that intelligence can be changed. While I definitely have students who are behind, hopefully helping them to reframe their thinking from "I'm stupid" to "I just have to work harder to catch up" will help them get closer to success.

Finally, one thing that really struck me was the disregard of learning styles in this book. I, and probably most of you, have been inundated with information about different learning styles the last couple of years and I have never really embraced the idea. Sure, I know there are ways that I learn better, but it is still possible for me to learn new things in different formats. I found the chapter that discussed learning styles and their lack of credibility refreshing.

I really enjoyed this book and appreciated its reliance on science and case studies to make its points.

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