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Smart Schools

By David Perkins
Book Details
  • Author: David Perkins
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Published: 1995-05-01
  • Edition: Reprint
The past twenty years have seen breakthroughs from cognitive scientists investigating thinking and learning as well as school anthropologists probing the culture of classrooms, schools, and their community contexts; but these insights have yet to be applied to public education on a broad scale. Smart Schools shows how these findings can be effectively used within the classroom. Although there has been much debate over the state of American education today, and a variety of solutions have been offered ranging from school choice to national testing, little attention has been paid to how children actually learn to think. As Perking demonstrates, we cannot solve our education problems by simply redistributing power or by asking children to regurgitate facts on a multiple choice exam; rather we must look at the kinds of knowledge students typically acquire in school. As his own and others' research indicates, students from first grade on through college often have only the most fragile and superficial kind of knowledge even after considerable instruction in a subject. He shows where students typically make mistakes by examining the kinds of misguided strategies they use in trying to understand a topic. He also shows why traditional teaching approaches often result in the students' limited grasp of a subject. Perking then introduces an impressive array of methods that have been shown to dramatically increase a student's understanding.

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