From grade school to graduate school, from the poorest public institutions to the most affluent private ones, our educational system is failing students. In his provocative new book, cognitive scientist and best-selling author Roger Schank argues that class size, lack of parental involvement, and other commonly cited factors have nothing to do with why students are not learning. The culprit is a system of subject-based instruction and the solution is cognitive-based learning. This groundbreaking book defines what it would mean to teach thinking. The time is now for schools to start teaching minds!
©2011 Roger Schank (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks
''Professor Roger Schank has long been one of the world's most innovative thinkers about education. This book is the culmination of his lifetime of thinking about teaching and learning. Although I've known Roger for over 20 years, I've learned a lot from this book and I know that you will too.'' (Ray Bareiss, Professor and Director of Educational Programs, Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley)
''Finally, some fresh thinking about teaching and learning. You will come away understanding what's wrong with how we teach today and what an effective pedagogy looks like. If you care about education, you will love love love this book!'' (Elliot Soloway, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, University of Michigan)
"Roger's insights tend to be a decade or two ahead of the insights of others. You can find his insights in current machine translation technologies, recommender systems, game-based learning environments, and even intelligence-gathering systems. The insights in this book are likely to be equally prescient and enduring." (Janet L. Kolodner, Regents' Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology)
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The 12 cognitive processes introduced in this book were very interesting and may be truly impactful to the way one would/could teach. However I found this book difficult to follow for two major reasons.
First the narration was inconsistent. Most of the time the narrator had great meter. That combined with his vocal qualities made the book an easy listen. However routinely the narrator reverted to reading the text rather than narrating. The effect was the feeling of being read a speech by a student that had not memorized their material. It was only distracting at worst.
Second, and more important, I felt that the author was trying to write two books. The first one being on the 12 cognitive processes - the one I wanted to read, and the second on his opinion of the dominant education processes in the world. Switching between the two lines of thought was a much more jarring process than I would have liked, not added by the inconsistent narration.
I will actually listen to this book again to try to extract the information on the 12 individual processes - because they do seem very valuable. However I do not look forward to winnowing that from the opinion.
"Great Information / Poor Delivery"
I would recommend this audiobook for teachers who want to improve their teaching and reach more students. The content is relevant at any stage and makes you think about your approach to your students. I found myself thinking of specific students in my class and how to better reach them with the help of my new knowledge.
The reader was very dry and monotone throughout the book. Although the information was clinical at times it was only made worse by the reader's performance. I felt the content could have been made a little more alive by some personality in the reader's voice.
It is not the content we need to teach our students as much as it is how to find the content they need. We don't teach our students how to think.
"Content intriguing, narrator robotic"
I am a teacher with background in Cognitive Science, so while others might lose interest because of the topic alone, I am fascinated by it. However, despite my intense interest in the subject matter, I found it difficult to keep my attention focused on the book due to the monotonous low pitch and oddly robotic intonation of the narrator's voice. For those who can get past the narration, the book spells out a radical change both in the content taught and in the manner in which high school amd college are delivered. While I don't think the author's proposed educational revolution will happen anytime soon, as a teacher the book made me reconsider whether I focus enough on the 12 cognitive processes in my class and made me ponder ways I might incorporate more experiential learning into my lessons. It may be small and incremental, but I am ready to revolutionize my instruction based on the ideas presented here.
"An unfortunate purchase on my part"
I purchased this book hoping to learn how to use cognitive science in order to become a better teacher. Instead, I heard stories about the author's family and previous students, stories glorifying Roger Schank. From what I listened to, this book tells a lot more about Roger Schank than it teaches how to build a better classroom or educational system. That said, I could not push myself to listen to the whole book (I listened to 3 hours of it) so maybe it reaches a point where practical advice is given.
The History of Rock n Roll by Greil Marcus
About 2 or 3 chapters into the book, I checked to see if it was being read by an automated voice.
The title sounded good.
"Great, provocative, and unfortunately on point"
One of the best
Punished by Rewards - The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn
Really good listen. I loved the brutal honesty of the author but he stayed on topic and he wasn't overly political as a lot of the academics are in this area (well, one chapter was). Schank was also cited in a Experiential Learning text which I found supportive of his expertise.
"Needed educational reform"
The reading of the text was terribly monotonous and lack of any inflection in the reader's voice made it difficult to listen to.
"Best info on current US educational system."
Every parent should read or listen. Then deny standardized testing for every child. May be only way to make changes to the system. Learning by doing. Montessori said it before Dewey AND she built a system designed to allow young children to learn by doing.
"Thoughtful book on charges to our schools"
A thought provoking book that raises good questions about schools, what they teach, and more importantly how a change in the focus might be more productive. I liked his suggestions about focusing on cognitive skills rather than different subjects and knowledge. I have found in hiring graduates for the past twenty years that something was wrong with education. It just isn't turning out people who can immediately succeed in schools. My HR team has been focused on teaching some of the cognitive skills (like decision making) that we need in the workplace. Now I have a more comprehensive idea of the skills needed and a curriculum of sorts for my HR team to focus on.
"This isn't a book, it's a brain dump"
This book is brilliant so long as you can get past the horrible reading/voice and assuming you can keep up and connect the wealth of knowledge and information being tossed at you rapid-fire.
"Narration is waste of money"
I've purchased several books from audible and have loved them all. This narration sounds like it could be a computer robot reading the text. Disappointed to have to spend more money to buy the paperback version of this book after already buying the audiobook. Too terrible to listen to -- and I typically LOVE my audiobooks. Couldn't rate the story because I can't get through the first few chapters -- and honestly the robotic narration was so distracting that I couldn't follow the story.
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