The Answer Sheet: willingham


Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 10/26/2013

Why job interviews don’t work

Why they don’t lead to better decision making.

By  |  11:32 AM ET, 10/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Daniel Willingham

Posted at 04:02 AM ET, 10/18/2013

What science teachers need to know (that isn’t about science)

Here’s a study that tested teacher subject-matter knowledge directly and that measured one aspect of pedagogical content knowledge, namely, student misconceptions.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:02 AM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Daniel Willingham

Posted at 04:12 AM ET, 07/17/2013

A point no one has (apparently) made before

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham discusses in the following post a study that he says stunned him.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:12 AM ET, 07/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  And Why It Matters, Daniel Willingham, Even Though It Seems Obvious

Posted at 04:03 AM ET, 05/29/2013

The bottom line on 'learning styles'

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham explains his thinking about whether and how learning styles theory should affect teaching.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:03 AM ET, 05/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Daniel Willingham, Learning Styles

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011

'Brain-based' education: Run from it

A veteran educator explains why teachers should run from any curriculum that says it is "brain-based."

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 02/28/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Larry Cuban, Learning, Research | Tags:  brain research, brain-based education, daniel willingham, education and brain, larry cuban

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, 12/06/2010

Willingham: Close to a magic bullet in education

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about something that he says may come as close to being a magic bullet in education as anything.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 12/06/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap | Tags:  achievement gap, daniel willingham, education research, gender gap, school reform

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Willingham: Why Black deserves a chance to run NYC schools

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes: "Understanding and actually attending to teachers’ perspectives on New York City classrooms in 2010 is probably mostly a matter of listening, and of valuing what teachers have to say." That's why, he says, Cathy Black deserves a chance to run the schools.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers | Tags:  cathie black, cathleen black, daniel willingham, educational leadership, new york city schools, new york city schools chancellor, nyc schools, nyc schools chancellor

Posted at 11:38 AM ET, 11/22/2010

The social cost to academic achievement -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham asks and answers: "Is there a social cost to academic achievement?"

By Daniel Willingham  |  11:38 AM ET, 11/22/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap, Achievement gap | Tags:  academic and ethnic, achievement gap, daniel willingham, john ogbu, social cost to academic achievement

Posted at 12:09 PM ET, 11/15/2010

Willingham: How 'mind-wandering' affects students

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about "mind-wandering" --or zoning out of what you are doing -- and how it affects students at school.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:09 PM ET, 11/15/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  brain research, cognitive science, daniel willingham, mind-wandering

Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 11/01/2010

Willingham: How sugar really affects kids

As parents eye bags of Halloween candy, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes about the real effect sugar has on kids.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:32 AM ET, 11/01/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  daniel willingham, health, sugar, sugar and health, sugar and kids, sugar and learning

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 11:55 AM ET, 10/04/2010

Willingham: How to teach collaboration

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham writes that “collaboration” and “working effectively in groups” are often deemed 21st century skills that young people must learn. But how to teach them? Researchers just made headway in characterizing what good group members do.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:55 AM ET, 10/04/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Higher Education, Higher Education, Higher Education, Higher Education, Higher Education | Tags:  21st century skills, collaboration, dan willingham, daniel willingham, how to teach collaboration, teaching 21st century skills, willingham, working in groups

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 09/27/2010

Willingham: 'Superman' is entertainment, nothing more

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham says that in its quest for movie simplicity, "Waiting for Superman" Wa

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 09/27/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  back to the future, dan willingham, michael j. fox, school reform, waiting for superman

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 01:14 PM ET, 06/28/2010

Willingham: Newsweek story on single-sex ed research misses mark

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham critiques a Newsweek article on single-sex education and how faithfully it represents research on the issue.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:14 PM ET, 06/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  dan willingham, daniel willingham, education research, newsweek, research and education, single-sex education, single-sex education and effectiveness.

Posted at 01:07 PM ET, 06/21/2010

Understanding ADHD -- Willingham

Yes, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a very real disorder, and cognitive scientist explains what parents and teachers should know about the condition.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:07 PM ET, 06/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities | Tags:  add, add medication, adhd, adhd and school, adhd and symptoms, adhd medication, all about adhd, all about attention deficit disorder, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, children and adhd and dignosis, daniel willingham, diagnosing adhd, is adhd real?, kids with adhd, symptoms of adhd, treatment for adhd, understanding adhd

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 12:00 PM ET, 05/24/2010

Data shows kids shouldn't multitask -- Willingham

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the data about whether kids really can effectively multi-task in the way many of them think they can.

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:00 PM ET, 05/24/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  can kids multitask?, daniel willingham, data on multitasking, multitasking and kids, research on multitasking

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 10:59 AM ET, 05/03/2010

Willingham: About poverty and school success

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at the relationship between poverty and school success--and doesn't like what he sees in the United States.

By Valerie Strauss  |  10:59 AM ET, 05/03/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, equity, guest bloggers, poverty and academic achievement, poverty and schools, the achievement gap

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/26/2010

Willingham: Stanford charter school and 'confirmation bias'

Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham looks at how "confirmation bias" affected the way people looked at the news that a charter school founded by Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond was closed.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 04/26/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Charter schools, Charter schools, Charter schools | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, Linda Darling-Hammong, Stanford charter school, charter schools, guest bloggers

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 11:00 AM ET, 01/18/2010

Willingham: Textbooks too much

By Daniel Willingham The Spring semester at the University of Virginia begins this week, and I will be teaching some 350 students in a course called "Introduction to Cognitive Psychology." The list price for the assigned textbook is $123.75. You can get my book, "Why Don’t Students Like School?" for about twenty bucks. Why are college textbooks so overpriced?

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:00 AM ET, 01/18/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  College Life, College Life, College Life | Tags:  Daniel Willingham

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 12:15 PM ET, 12/14/2009

Willingham: Does chaos at home lower a kid's IQ?

By Daniel Willingham Have you ever been to a friend’s house which seems, for want of a better word, a little chaotic? For some reason, it seems like it’s always noisy, people are always coming and going, and there seems to be no routine or predictability. If it’s extreme, you might even think, “Gee, how can people live like this?” Social scientists have studied such households, and they use a technical term to describe them: “chaotic.” More seriously, it turns out that chaos might not be good for kids. A recent study examined 302 families, and concluded that chaos in the home contributes to lower IQ and to child conduct problems (i.e., kids who are aggressive, or who get into trouble with the law).

By Valerie Strauss  |  12:15 PM ET, 12/14/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Early Childhood, Early Childhood, Early Childhood | Tags:  Daniel Willingham

Posted at 06:30 AM ET, 11/23/2009

Willingham: Six practical reasons arts education is more than a luxury

By Daniel William. Researchers gathering to discuss the effect that arts education has on the brain reveal why Americans should stop viewing it as a luxury.

By Valerie Strauss  |  06:30 AM ET, 11/23/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Arts Education, Arts Education, Arts Education | Tags:  Daniel Willingham, arts education

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 11/16/2009

Willingham: We have math standards, but now what?

We’ve got good standards . . . now what? . . .Students need conceptual knowledge. They need to understand why the procedures work, e.g., why “invert and multiply” yields the right answer when dividing fractions. Without conceptual knowledge, it is difficult to solve novel problems. The student can recognize that certain procedures apply to certain problem types, but if a problem is dressed up in a slightly different format, the student likely will be stumped. American students generally have adequate (not terrific) factual and procedural knowledge. Their conceptual knowledge is, on average, terrible.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:30 AM ET, 11/16/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Categories:  Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers, Guest Bloggers | Tags:  Dan Willingham, math

Posted at 02:00 PM ET, 11/10/2009

Hall of Shame: Willingham uses science to blast 'eyeQ'

By Daniel Willingham eyeQ is a computer program currently being tested in Salt Lake City Schools which the makers describe as “an effective tool for Brain Enhancement, Reading Improvement, and Vision Therapy or Eye Training.” Indeed, near-sighted users are promised that they will likely see an improvement in their vision. Improvements in reading speed of 100% in less than one month are described as typical.....But the claims made are fantastic (doubling your reading speed in one month) and anyone with any experience in human neuroscience would tell you that the science is confused.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:00 PM ET, 11/10/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Daniel Willingham, Guest Bloggers, Hall of Shame, eyeQ

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