Cognition! Teaching Kids To Reason

I linked to the work of Robert Schank earlier and  had no idea I would get such an interesting response from our readership. (Highly recommend reading the excerpts below)

Below is a preview consisting of 4 chapters of his book. This is very interesting stuff particularly if you like education.

*For value investors notice that Warren Buffet (and probably even better to point to Benjamin Graham) has a way of teaching that strikes many of the points below.

Click Here To Read: Cognition! Teaching Kids To Think

Full Chapters Included In This Book Review

1. Cognitive Processes-Based Education
2. Teaching Kids to Walk and Talk
3. What Can’t You Teach?
4. Sixteen Cognitive Processes that underlie learning

Interesting Bits From The Chapters

Human relationships are important, but they aren’t easy to establish or maintain. They require work.
The work involves, among other things, learning how to listen and respond to the needs of another human being. It involves subjugating one’s own interests from time to time for the interests of another.
Girls, and later women, feel good. Being with someone who loves you feels good. Learning to love feels good. More than feeling good, these things are critical for staying alive. This is not so obvious when you are surrounded by love from your family. But eventually you are alone, and alone is not so much fun.

What we have learned about learning:

We have learned that learning about how other people behave is very important.
We have learned that learning about one’s own emotions and feelings is very important.
We have learned that building confidence is very important.
We have learned that learning to listen is very important.
We also learned that learning how to express oneself is very important.

In Other Words:

Students need to learn about how other people behave and why, and they need to learn how to interact with different kinds of people.
Students need to learn about their own emotions and feelings and how to deal with them.
Students need to learn how to rely on themselves and feel confident in their own abilities.
Students need to learn how to listen to others and really hear what they are saying.
Students need to learn how to express themselves effectively.

I believe that effective teaching makes….

students understand where they fit in the world in which they live
students understand how to get ahead in the world in which they live
students understand the roles of those around them

So Effective Teaching Must:

Helping students think:
students develop questions for which they then will seek answers
students look for answers from people other than the teacher
students confused and less certain than they were before
students think about the stories the teacher tells
Helping students observe and copy good behavior:
students think about how the teacher is behaving and causes the student to wonder about whether copying this behavior would be a good idea
students think about what works and what doesn’t in the adult world
students look at what the teacher does and see how they can imitate it in a way that is consonant with whom they are
Making students respect their advisors:
students believe that their teacher is not a phony, so they can take what is said seriously
students believe that their teacher is their personal mentor

students trust their teacher’s advice
students understand what you tell if you constantly demonstrate the value of what you tell them

Teaching students how and when to take action:
students think about what it means to put oneself on the line for one’s own beliefs
students understand how to begin a process

Teaching students to be good critics of their own work:
students look more carefully at the work that they themselves have produced
students trust their own intuitions
Teaching students their place in the world and how to succeed in that world
students understand where they fit in the world in which they live
students understand how to get ahead in the world in which they live
students understand the roles of those around them

Conclusion: Effective teaching then, means teaching these things:

How to be a critic
Whom to respect and copy
How to know where you fit
How to take action
How to think

The relevant question for a teacher then is:

“does your teaching result in students who can do the five things listed above?”


Click Here To Read: Cognition! Teaching Kids To Think

About Miguel Barbosa

I run this site.

09. December 2009 by Miguel Barbosa
Categories: Curated Readings, Wisdom Seeking | Leave a comment

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