Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 Books and Movies

Why Don't Students Like School?
Daniel T. Willingham 

The subtitle of this book is "A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom" which is why it immediately appealed to me. It definitely confirmed some really good concepts (children's learning styles are more alike than different, despite edu babble and practice is the only way to improve a skill) and gave me a better understanding of cognitive psychology. There were some really hard truths in the book such as, not everyone is "smart", not everyone is "good at something" and that background knowledge is huge, and some students will never catch up. My only complaints (and this is purely aesthetic) are that either the author or the editor of the book used far too many fonts to illustrate different points and used both foot and end notes which made for a lot of unnecessary flipping. Otherwise, a must read for parents and teachers alike.

Capitalism: A Love Story

I always enjoy Michael Moore's film even though I know that he manipulates the footage to make his points sometimes. I would rather the information be released by someone who is relatively well known enough so that people see it en masse, then by an obscure filmmaker with a small following. That being said, I agreed with a lot of the ideas presented in this movie. Moore makes many connections between banks, corporations and those in political power and exposes the weakness of the current financial markets. I especially enjoyed the swing rendition of  The Internationale that played over the end credits. A must see for anyone who believes in social change or for anyone who doesn't like what they see in the world.