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Want to learn more about learning?

Read one of these “kinder egg” books (easily read AND research based AND with practical guidelines and tips):

Why don’t students like school? A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom written by Daniel Willingham. This book keeps what it promises, and discusses nine highly relevant questions for all educators. A few examples are “Why is it so hard for students to understand abstract ideas?” and “How can I teach the students the skills they need when standardized tests require only facts?” The answers and discussions are available for 150,- NOK at Amazon. In addition, the author has a number of popularized articles on his website (, where he for instance confronts some widespread “hypes” in education.  A few examples are the debunked learning styles and the proposed need for multiple intelligences. If you find examples of critical thinking refreshing, you can even enjoy them.

Creative Teaching. An Evidence-Based Approach by Dennis Sale which pinpoints ten core principles for teaching. The author backs up the principles with both research and practical examples, and discusses how to integrate them in teaching. The book is rather expensive, but a pdf is freely available through many university libraries. The principles are briefly listed as:

  1. Motivational strategies are incorporated into the design of learning experiences
  2. Learning goals, objectives and proficiency are clearly visible to learners
  3. Learners prior knowledge is activated and connected to new learning
  4. Content is organized around key concepts and principles that are fundamental to understanding the structure of a subject
  5. Good thinking promotes the building of understanding
  6. Instructional methods and presentation mediums engage the range of human senses
  7. Learning design takes into account the working of memory systems
  8. The development of expertise requires deliberate practice
  9. A psychological climate is created which is both success-orientated and fun
  10. Assessment practices are integrated into the learning design to promote desired learning outcomes and provide quality feedback


Both authors also discuss how to develop your own teaching, based on research and practice. Intentional practice with feedback. Also known as hard work. Which you can do after you have enjoyed reading the books!

More books are recommended in the blog posts and

Author: Jorun Nyléhn

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