I think that some of the dissonance that comes from Willingham is my uncomfortableness with looking at a new perspective after I have looked at something my way for so long. I think that I am slowly learning to understand another perspective through this book and I do not feel that I have many extreme differences from Willingham. Many of the yes moments for me are happening during the implication to the classroom part of the chapters. I think that Willingham has advice that can be applied easily and work well. One of my specific yes moments was in chapter one, when he told us to consider using problems in all lessons. He said to be sure that there was a problem to be solved. I never thought of this throughout a curriculum but I see how it can work because many minds enjoy solving problems and coming to a conclusion. Overall, I feel that this book is an important read and is helping me look at learning differently.
I agree with a lot of the things that Jill stated. There is not much in the book so far that i haven’t agreed with, even though some concepts have seemed foreign at first. I think the book has revealed many ways to apply seemingly abstract concepts to effective classroom learning and teaching. Particularly through the implications section i have gotten a lot of good ideas to apply to my practicum work specifically, and further ideas to use in my future physical therapy practice. I was also very impacted by the concept of making sure that there are problems to be solved. Another thing that stuck with me was to make knowledge meaningful. This can lead to so many benefits, and is something that should be done anyway to keep students interested.
I have a lot of disagreement with Willingham stating we should not connect information to student interest. This goes against everything I was taught in almost any educational course I have ever taken. Of course you have to find connections to interest, not only does this keep students engaged, but their interests tend to relate to the areas they have the most background knowledge in. This is incredibly important for struggling learners.
I do like his argument in Chapter 3 regarding being purposeful of how to introduce a topic to not lead students to start thinking about others things. However, in general, I think regardless of how engaging or “great” a teacher is, all individuals lose focus, even if just for five seconds, and think about something else. I think that is a human characteristic, not necessary a deficit in attention. I could argue it is more a way to recharge the brain in order to stay focus with the task on-hand, to unfocus for a second and return.
This is very abstract at times with what he argues. I wish there was a way for me to observe a teacher who does what we expect and one who does what Willingham suggests and see how that is different in real action. Trying to theorize it is different than the actual practicality.
As others have already touched on, there is no topic that I have reached thus far that I completely disagreed with. Some of the ideals were proposed in ways that I haven’t thought about before, but with further reflection I understand and agree. But, I am not an education major, so I have very little formal education on some of these classroom ideals. A lot of what I had read thus far has been fairly new to me (with a teachers perspective).
The yes moment came from chapter 2 in regards to background knowledge. It was something that made perfect sense to me. Learners need a baseline of knowledge on specific topic so that they can dig deeper into that topic.
I definitely know how theory can get so lost in translation. How can we consider applying these ideas? Can we brainstorm scenarios or planning opportunities that we may consider differently from reading this book?
What do you think Willingham was getting at when he said not to focus on student interest?