15. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, How To's, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

How we learn the surprising truth about when, where, and why it happens. by Benedict Carey, 272 pages, read by Kira, on 09/14/2014

how-we-learn-by-benedict-careylearn_3019445a mgtjVsu 0824-bks-Hurley-master495 download After reading the book The Smartest Kids in the World: and How They got that Way, I started wondering how much can pedagogy be taught, and how much of it is just having a good personality.  And by “good personality” I was thinking of the charismatic “hail fellow well met type”.   I should have remembered that people with  “hail fellow well met” type of personalities, usually get more credit than they deserve see the book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  Should teachers be required to get a good education or does getting a degree in physical education, qualify you to teach math in high school.  How much can Blond girl learning Chinese 4training benefit a teacher?

Science reporter, Ben Carey, provides us with a users manual for how our brains work.

Some of the methods I learned seemed intuitively correct, but I didn’t know why they worked; other methods were new to me.  I did know that studying for two hours straight is less effective than studying 1 hour on one day, and then another hour, a couple of days later.  The deeper we have to dig to retrieve a piece of information, the more likely it is to stick.  That is why comprehensive exams are better for you, though less popular, because you have to study more.  I did know that when you reach an impasse, you should stop, take a break, then go back to the problem.  I’ve advised my husband to do this, but now I have evidence to back me up.

I didn’t realize how important it is to mix things up, what author Carey calls interleavement.  Drills are fine, but you don’t want to spend a long period of time on the same one, or same type, for example when practicing music do some scales, then some etudes, then play a piece through, then work on tone, then back to scales, etc.  Carey posits that this is really critical in math, because you need to be able to figure out which type of formula to apply to different problems.  Often in school, a student does fine on an individual section, but then fails the comprehensive test, because now, they have to select which formula to apply.  Another way to mix things up, is to study in different places, under different conditions, though if you can study in the room where you will take the test, this will assist you when you take the test, but Not in the long run.  You want to know if you are merely studying to pass a given test, or do you want to retain the knowledge for the long run.

I enjoyed the way Carey wove together academic research studies with real world applications.  I liked this book a lot, and wish more of my teachers and professors had imparted this type of knowledge.

22. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction · Tags:

The Smartest Kids in the World : and How they Got that Way by Amanda Ripley, 306 pages, read by Kira, on 08/22/2014

on-the-shelfPISA 2009ChartQuoteTime Magazine journalist, Amanda Ripley, examines the superpowers of education thru the stories of 3 American foreign exchange students.  Kim goes to Finland, Tom to Poland,screen shot 2013-12-03 at 5.29.16 am and Eric to South Korea.    She asks why do US students continue to lag behind other developed countries.

So, do you think parental involvement with extracurricular activities helps children in school? actually there is a slight negative correlation with parental extracurricular involvement and children’s education scores.  However, reading to your kids, or reading at home (books, magazines) and discussing books, social issues, etc with your kids, is associated with higher educational scores.


Why is education so uforeign_exchange1nder-valued in the US? and whyAugust 8 I phone, last of Korea, Groths 987 d9789863204275oes this field get so mdownload (3)uch more respect in other developed score-testscountries?  Why do we as Americans think Mathematics is really an optional topic.   An interesting example was of the Bama pie making factory.  They couldn’t find smart enough people to work in their factory, so they opened another factory in Poland (okay, they can probably get skilled and cheap labor there).  Another example, was that even Head of Maintenance jobs require a fair amount of skill these days.  One needs to be able to be able to read blue-prints, perform applied mathematical equations, motivate subordinates, and communicate well, including writing reports.

I wish she has examined the effect of students studying in groups.  I had one prof who clearly believed in it, and it was a practice that I took up, finding other motivated students to study with.

She claims to only be transmitting information, and letting the reader decide, but she does seem to have a something of political agenda (though it is neither right nor left).  She advocates stronger requirements for both teachers (of which we seem to have a plethora) and for students to pass classes.  She dismisses technology and gadgets.

23. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, Graphic Book, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

To Teach: The Journey in Comics by Willliam Ayers, 128 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/04/2014

to teachGraphic novel of the true life adventures of William Ayers as an elementary school teacher. Ayers obviously loves teaching and loves his students but has to struggle with administration and paperwork. His approach to teaching is for lots of group activities and lots of kinetic interaction with the learning items. He believes that kids learn best when having fun and feeling like they are playing instead of working. His class is very busy and loud. As an introvert who likes structure I would have been overwhelmed by such a classroom environment, but my niece would love it. I’m sure she and many others students could benefit from this active and social learning process.