The Answer Sheet: Daniel Willingham


Posted at 07:39 AM ET, 05/12/2012

IQ: Willingham on the newest thinking

Cognitive scientist Daniel William explains the latest thinking on the controversial topic of intelligence, distilling a new report from a group of eminent scientists.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:39 AM ET, 05/12/2012 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Willingham: 3 brain facts every educator should know

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes, "Most of what you see advertised as educational advice rooted in neuroscience is bunkum."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 12/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  brain-based classrooms, brain-based education, brain-based teaching, daniel willingham, myelination, neuroscience and education, prefrontal cortex and teens, teaching and neuroscience, the brain and education

Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 12/20/2010

Willingham: When teachers speak unwelcome truths about your child

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about why parents should listen to their child's teachers -- especially when they don't like what they hear.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:30 AM ET, 12/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, parents, report cards, teachers

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 12/13/2010

Willingham: What causes performance decline across grades?

Cognitive scientist looks at why student performance declines across grades.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 12/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  arne duncan, daniel willingham, pirls, pisa, pisa scores, test scores, timss

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/08/2010

Willingham: What student athletes should know

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about the cognitive consequences about concussions in student athletes.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 10/25/2010

Willingham: Is a paradigm shift really needed?

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham critiques a popular video that insists that we "do not simply need to fix or improve our schools but to completely rethink how they operate."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:33 AM ET, 10/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  cognitive science, daniel willingham, reformation, renaissance, rousseau, school reform, sir ken robinson

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 10/18/2010

Willingham: Should teachers be so important?

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes: "Teacher quality is the most important in-school factor that influences kids’ schooling. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:25 AM ET, 10/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, education, school reform, schools, student achievement, teachers

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010

Willingham: Left/right brain theory is bunk

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham explains why the left brain/right brain theory is pure mythology.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/20/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  brain research, daniel willingham, left brain/right brain, mike gazzaniga

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/06/2010

Willingham: How to guarantee active learning? (Or, manipulatives vs. PowerPoint)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham starts his discussion about active learning with a quiz, and then talks about how manipulatives have been oversold and PowerPoint sometimes unfairly criticized.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, PowerPoint and use, PowerPoint in the classroom, Powerpoint and manipulatives, daniel willingham, manipulatives in the classroom

Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 09/03/2010

The decade’s best education books?

The magazine Education Next's poll of best education books of the past decade is showing some ironic results.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:00 AM ET, 09/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  best education books, best education books of the decade, daniel willingham, diane ravitch, ed next's poll of books, education next, education next's poll, linda darling-hammong, poll of education books, the death and life of the great american school system, why don't students like school?

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/30/2010

The surprising thing teachers want from parents -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asked teachers: "If you could magically make parents do ONE thing this coming school year to support their child, what would it be?" Here's the surprising answer.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/30/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, how many hours should kids sleep?, parent involvement, sleep and teens, students and sleep, teenagers and sleep

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/23/2010

Willingham: 3 key factors in teacher evaluation (beyond the hype of value-added)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks beyond the hype of "value added" models for teacher evaluation and pinpoints three key factors that should be considered.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/23/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, factors in teacher evaluation, how to evaluate teachers, no child left behind, teacher evaluation, teacher evaluation systems, teachers and value added, value added systems

Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 08/17/2010

Willingham: Big questions about the LA Times teachers project

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham explains why using value-added measures to judge the effectiveness of a teacher is a mistake, and says that the Los Angeles Times writers who helped evaluate more than 6,000 teachers in this fashion, "are either uniformed or disingenuous about the status of the value-added measures."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:23 AM ET, 08/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  daniel willingham, la times story, la times story on teachers, los angeles times and teachers, research and value added, teacher evaluation, value added evaluation, value added measures

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/16/2010

Willingham: Can reformers control their own reforms?

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, looking at Paul Peterson's book "Saving Schools," writes about education reformers and the problem they have historically encountered in keeping control of the reforms they launch. How this pattern will affect the Common Core standards is a big question, he says.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/16/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  common core standards, daniel willingham, national standards, paul peterson, paul peterson's book, saving schools, school reform

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/09/2010

Willingham: What’s missing from Common Core standards (Part 3)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about taking the educational equivalent of the moon shot.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/09/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  common core standards, daniel willingham

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/02/2010

Willingham: What’s missing from Common Core standards plan (Part 2)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asks: "If the educational system has so many interacting parts, how can we ever know whether a change we make to part of the system is useful?" Then he answers it, two ways.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/02/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, common core standards, national standards

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 07/26/2010

Willingham: What’s missing from national standards plan (Part 1)

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham analyzes whether the Common Core standards for math and English language arts are likely to improve schooling over the next decade.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 07/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  analysis and common core standareds, common core standards, criticism and common core standards, daniel willingham, national standards, no child left behind and legacy, what's missing from common core standards

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 07/12/2010

Teacher accountability schemes let teens off the hook -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham talks about students, their attitudes and whether teachers can be held solely or even primarily responsible for their academic achievement.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 07/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  attitudes and students, daniel willingham, factors in student achievement, main factor in student achievement, teachers and student achievement, teenagers and behavior, who is responsible for student achievement

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 07/05/2010

Is technology changing our brains? -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the effects of technology on kids and, for that matter, everybody else.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 07/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  cognitive science, daniel willingham, effects of technology, how technology affects kids, how technology affects students, is technology changing our brains, steven pinker and cognition, technology and brains, technology and cognition, technology and students, technology in the classroom

Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 06/07/2010

Will new standards mean better-educated kids? -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the final version of the Common Core standards for math and English Language Arts and analyzes their likely impact on learning over the next decade. Will students be better educated? From a quick read the standards look pretty good, but most would agree that high-quality standards are necessary but not sufficient for positive impact.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 06/07/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Common Core standards, Daniel Willingham, content standards, national standards

Posted at 12:26 PM ET, 05/17/2010

Is education research all dreck? -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist evaluates whether education research is all garbage or has some value.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:26 PM ET, 05/17/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, aera, education research, value of education research

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 05/10/2010

Why student attitudes toward school change -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham talks about the differences he sees between first-graders and sixth-graders, and the reasons kids change in their attitude toward school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 05/10/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, about first graders, about sixth grade, guest bloggers, learning

Posted at 10:49 AM ET, 04/19/2010

An analysis of pay-for-grades schemes -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham from the University of Virginia writes about the results of experiments in school districts to pay students for their work, and explains the psychological reasons it sometimes works--and sometimes doesn't.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:49 AM ET, 04/19/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, Harvard project and paying for grades, grades, guest bloggers, paying for grades

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/12/2010

Willingham: Obama should stop coercing teachers and start persuading

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about how President Obama seems to trying to coerce teachers to do what he wants rather than use his formidable powers of persuasion. Experients in psychology, he says, show that coercion gets compliance, while persuasion breeds enthusiasm and innovation.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 04/12/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, Obama and teachers, Obama education policy, President Obama and teachers, guest bloggers

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 04/05/2010

Willingham: What NAEP reading scores really show

By Daniel Willingham. The belief that kids will be better readers if we simply get them to read more is rooted in the belief that reading comprehension is a transferable skill that, once mastered, applies to any text. That’s true of decoding, but not of comprehension. What’s needed is a substantial knowledge base.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:10 PM ET, 04/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, NAEP, guest bloggers, reading

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/29/2010

Willingham: Feds should leave ed policy to states

By Daniel Willingham. The federal government should get out of the business of making education policy and instead put more effort into evaluating student performance. Here's why.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 03/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, NCLB, guest bloggers, student assessment

Posted at 09:09 AM ET, 03/15/2010

Willingham on school choice

By Daniel Willingham. The cognitive scientist looks at Diane Ravitch's conclusion on school choice in her new book, "The Death and Life of the American School System" as well as other views on how the experiment has worked across the country.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:09 AM ET, 03/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, charter schools, guest bloggers

Posted at 12:56 PM ET, 03/11/2010

Helping students know what they don’t know-Part 3

The third part of an article by cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, a professor at the University of Virginia, explains how parents and teachers can help kids understand when they don't know material that they think they do--and then, how they can really learn it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:56 PM ET, 03/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, helping kids learn, the brain

Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 03/11/2010

How students trick themselves about what they know--Part 2

In the second part of his article on why students think they know material that they don't, cognitive scientist and University of Virginia professor Daniel Willingham discusses the situations that can get kids in trouble in this regard.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:51 PM ET, 03/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, guest bloggers, learning, the brain

Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 03/11/2010

Willingham: Why students think they know material they don't--Part 1

In the first of three posts, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham, a professor at the University of Virginia, tackles the subject of how students (and adults) think they know material when they don't really understand it. The second post will look at how we wind up in such a situation, and the third, how to help students overcome it.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:50 PM ET, 03/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, how students learn

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 02/08/2010

Education research needs more retractions

By Daniel Willingham. You have probably heard about the retraction by the medical journal Lancet of a 1998 article linking a routine childhood vaccination with autism. This retraction made me think of the fact that such retractions are never seen in Education journals. Retractions in medical journals are rare. According to a report in the Journal of Medical Ethics, during the decade 1995-2004, 0.0065% of articles were later retracted. That percentage has been increasing in the last few decades. A search of the best-known education database (ERIC) showed just one retraction, and that was from an experimental psychology journal catalogued in ERIC.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:25 PM ET, 02/08/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham

Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 02/05/2010

Willingham: On Susan Engel

In her February 2 Op-ed piece in The New York Times, Susan Engel celebrates the current administration’s goal of education reform, but cautions that reform may not mean much unless the curriculum is changed. Test-driven accountability, she argues, has led to a curriculum that “is strangling children and teachers alike.” As an alternative, she suggests a curriculum with more authentic, real-world tasks, and greater student choice. Engel does not mention that this curriculum has been tried again and again, and it has failed again and again.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:45 PM ET, 02/05/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, school reform

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/01/2010

Willingham: 'Race to Top' a doomed bribery scheme

By Daniel Willingham When I was about 10 years old I was supposed to clean my room each day, which meant that each day I tried to find a way to get out of the house before my mother discovered that I hadn’t done so. Tired of nagging me, my mother offered me fifty cents a week to keep it clean. So then my goal changed from sneaking out of the house to preventing my mother from discovering that I had merely shoved all my junk under the bed. This reminds me of the Race to the Top initiative. Why would the federal government hold a grant competition for states? Either because states lack money, or because they lack conviction.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 02/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, Race to the Top

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 01/25/2010

Willingham: 'A terrible idea'

By Daniel Willingham. Randi Weingarten’s recent speech at the National Press Club garnered a great deal of press attention, almost all of it on her openness to student achievement data being part of an evaluation scheme for teachers. This is a terrible idea.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:30 PM ET, 01/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, student performance, teacher evaluation

Posted at 03:00 PM ET, 01/11/2010

Willingham: The zeitgeist of reading instruction

By Daniel Willingham. I have written (on this blog and elsewhere) about the importance of background knowledge and about the limited value of instructing students in reading comprehension strategies. To be clear, I don’t think that such instruction is worthless. It has a significant impact, but it seems to be a one-time effect and the strategies are quickly learned. More practice of these strategies pays little or no return....As a researcher, I have a hypothesis: People think strategies are important because most of the reading research is on strategies. But that’s an accident of the way research is done.

By Valerie Strauss  |  03:00 PM ET, 01/11/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, reading instruction

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 11/02/2009

How AU's President Earned More than $1 Million

Here is a memo that American University issued explaining why its president, Cornelius Kerwin, was so high on The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual list of presidential compensation.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 11/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  American University, executive compensation, presidential salaries

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 11/02/2009

Willingham: What the research really says about Baby Einsteins

By now, you’ve likely heard that the Baby Einstein company is offering a refund for its DVDs, a move widely interpreted as a way of avoiding a class-action lawsuit over the company’s claim that the DVDs are educational....I don’t think the Baby Einstein company needed to make strong claims about education to get parents to think that the DVDs were educative. Many parents already believe that visual stimulation and classical music (which the DVDs offer in spades) have been shown to help brain development. Both beliefs are based on solid research that has been twisted out of shape.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:10 PM ET, 11/02/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Baby Einstein, Daniel Willingham, brain development

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/19/2009

Willingham: Is School About Learning or About Grades?

By Daniel Willingham. I have always told my children that school is not about grades, it’s about learning. I tell them that they shouldn’t compare themselves to other kids but should just mark their own progress in learning. I’m starting to rethink what I tell them.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, mastery standards, performance standards

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009

Willingham: What Should Students Be Required to Read?

What should students be required to read? ... It is not controversial to specify desirable knowledge in other subjects. In science, for example, we expect that students will acquire certain skills-- methods of scientific analysis--but we also believe that there is a body of scientific knowledge that students will learn. The same is true of history and mathematics. What makes literature different? Why don’t standards specify what students ought to read?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/05/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Content Standards, Daniel Willingham, Literature, Reading

Posted at 07:30 AM ET, 09/28/2009

Willingham: Reading Is Not a Skill--And Why This Is a Problem for the Draft National Standards

A draft of voluntary national standards for reading was just released, and at first glance the 18 standards sound quite sensible: students should be able to determine what a text says, make inferences from it, discern the most important ideas, and so forth. Many of the standards boil down to this notion: "The student will be able to comprehend the text.” For the others, comprehension is a prerequisite. The problem is that teachers and administrators are likely to read those 18 standards and to try to teach to them. But reading comprehension is not a “skill” that can be taught directly.

By Valerie Strauss  |  07:30 AM ET, 09/28/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, National Standards, Reading

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 09/14/2009

Willingham: Student "Learning Styles" Theory Is Bunk

Guest Blogger Daniel Willingham: The Big Idea behind learning styles is that kids vary in how they learn: Some learn best by looking (visual learners), some by listening (auditory learners), and some by manipulating things (kinesthetic learners).

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 09/14/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham, Daniel Willingham | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, auditory learner, kinesthetic learner, learning styles, visual learner, visual-auditory-kinesthetic theory