I was recently invited to speak on the From Page to Practice podcast about the book How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice by Paul A. Kirschner and Carl Hendrick. The first author does a great job of introducing the book at the beginning, and my lovely voice appears soon after, at about 11:25. Have a listen!
Series 2 – Episode 15 – Teach Like A Writer by Jennifer Webb – From page to practice
- Series 2 – Episode 15 – Teach Like A Writer by Jennifer Webb
- Series 2 Episode 14 – Teaching Rebooted by Jon Tait and Diversity in Schools by Bennie Kara
- Series 2 – Episode 13 – Symbiosis by Kat Howard and Claire Hill
- Series 2 – Episode 12 – Closing the Reading Gap by Alex Quigley
- Series 2 Episode 11 – Talking About Oracy by Sarah Davies
Should Teachers Know How Learning Happens?
It’s become a bit of a theme of this blog that increasing teachers’ knowledge of the learning sciences and educational psychology will improve students’ chances, strengthen our field, and empower teachers. Having never seen it personally, I can only imagine what a school would look like if everyone read and analyzed a book like “How Learning Happens” from cover to cover and used it to make substantive changes to their learning design. Unfortunately, it seems like many school leaders will find just about any excuse they can to not engage with the science of learning; There are too many competing items on the training agenda, there’s a standardized test coming up, teachers are the experts and know their kids best, every class and every school year is different, teachers are tired and should focus on self-care, the science is never settled or is too complex, etc, etc. Schools seem trapped in an endless cycle of reaction rather than proaction, and trial by fire learning rather than professional learning.
If school leaders won’t act to professionalize this field, then it’s up to us. Holding professional reading sessions where teachers inquire into an important article, evidence review, or book, is one way we can disseminate research and increase our collective knowledge at the grassroots. Below are a few resources to get your school started (off the top of my head, but all goodies) starting with a link to the book that was featured in the podcast:
- How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice
- A book where every chapter is an important research article that every educator should read, with the implications for our practice elegantly described by the authors
- Why don’t students like school?
- A book where the author answers important questions that most teachers have with findings from cognitive science
- 7 myths about education
- A book that exposes and analyzes some of the most common myths about teaching and learning in education
- How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine…for Now
- A book about the science of learning
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning
- A book focused mainly on techniques for enhancing memory
- Creating the Schools Our Children Need: Why What We’re Doing Now Won’t Help Much (And What We Can Do Instead)
- A book about common reform efforts that probably won’t work or would be way too expensive, and an argument for a knowledge-rich curriculum and professional inquiry around formative assessment practices
- Great Teaching Toolkit
- A very recent review of the literature about what makes great teaching
- The Science of Learning
- A manual for cognitive psychology applied to education
- Learning by Scientific Design
- From the same group as above, but more about changing teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about effective learning
- Top 20 Principles from Psychology for Pre-K-12 Teaching and Learning
- A document that describes psychology principles that relate to education, such as “Students’ cognitive development and learning are not limited by general stages of development.”
- What Makes Great Teaching?
- A review of what great teachers do.
- Principles of Instruction
- Quite popular in the UK, it seems, less so in the US where it was born, this is a highly recommended review of the high impact teaching techniques by Barak Rosenshine
Scientific Method and Debunking Materials
- That’s a Claim (Education)
- Cool website with a periodic table of how to evaluate education claims scientifically
- Debunking Handbook
- A handbook that teachers can use to learn how to debunk myths, urban legends, and edu-babble
- Measured Approach or Magical Elixir?: How to Tell Good Science from Bad
- How to strip, flip, trace, and analyze claims in education
- When Can You Trust the Experts?
- By the same author as above, Daniel Willingham, but a full book.
What is your school doing to increase teachers’ knowledge of education research and cognitive science? Have you read anything else that should be included on this list? Feel free to share in the comments below.
-Zach Groshell @mrzachg