Top 10 Pick for Learning Ladders’ Best Books for Educators Summer 2021
A groundbreaking guide to improve teaching based on the latest research in neuroscience, from the bestselling author of A Mind for Numbers.
Neuroscientists and cognitive scientists have made enormous strides in understanding the brain and how we learn, but little of that insight has filtered down to the way teachers teach. Uncommon Sense Teaching applies this research to the classroom for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in improving education. Topics include:
• keeping students motivated and engaged, especially with online learning
• helping students remember information long-term, so it isn't immediately forgotten after a test
• how to teach inclusively in a diverse classroom where students have a wide range of abilities
Drawing on research findings as well as the authors' combined decades of experience in the classroom, Uncommon Sense Teaching equips readers with the tools to enhance their teaching, whether they're seasoned professionals or parents trying to offer extra support for their children's education.
About the Author
Barbara Oakley, PhD, is the bestselling author of A Mind for Numbers and a professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Her research involves bioengineering with an emphasis on neuroscience and cognitive psychology. Dr. Oakley is an internationally recognized expert on learning and on creating high-quality online materials for massive open online courses (MOOCs). With Terrence Sejnowski, she teaches one of the world's most popular MOOCs, called Learning How to Learn.
Beth Rogowsky, EdD, is a professor of education at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. In addition to completing postdoctoral training in neuroscience, she has fourteen years of experience teaching English language arts to middle-schoolers in rural and urban public schools.
Terrence Sejnowski, PhD, is the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he directs the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory. He is among only twelve living scientists who have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering.
"For too long, teaching has been treated as an inscrutable craft, with each practitioner fashioning idiosyncratic practices from intuition and experience. But like all professions, pedagogy can be improved through technology, research, and science. This trio of experts show how to elevate this dark art to an effective and enjoyable practice."
—Steven Pinker, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and New York Times bestselling author of How the Mind Works and Enlightenment Now
“A big step in translating cognitive science and neuroscience into street-level understanding of how learning works. Every teacher, student, and parent will find practical ideas of immediate value.”
—Peter C. Brown, coauthor of Make It Stick
“This book is an absolute must for anyone who cares about education. The brain is geared for learning and adaptation, and this is the definitive set of tools for helping students get the most out of learning. Learning is supposed to be fun—knowing how to do it in the way your brain is designed to learn is the most fun of all. What a delightful, brilliant book.”
—Mayim Bialik, PhD, four-time Emmy nominee for The Big Bang Theory and New York Times bestselling author of Girling Up and Boying Up
"This accessible and engaging book will make it easier for teachers to teach and for students to learn. The authors provide the kind of information all prospective teachers should get during their training—but rarely do."
—Natalie Wexler, author of The Knowledge Gap
“Learning is about making changes in the brain. This book describes how that happens, why it can be difficult, and how to facilitate more learning in the classroom. Veteran teachers will find explanations for why some of their techniques work and ways to improve them. Newer teachers and parents supporting students at home will find countless practical suggestions to help learners succeed.”
—Kristen DiCerbo, PhD, Chief Learning Officer, Khan Academy
“This is the first neuroscience-based book I’ve read that has provided me with a deeper understanding of how the brain functions while learning and specific strategies that should be used while teaching. I recommend it most highly.”
—Robert Marzano, PhD, cofounder of Marzano Resources and author of The New Art and Science of Teaching
“The authors bring to this highly practical, user-friendly book a deep understanding of teachers and classrooms, the implications of neuroscientific findings for successful teaching and learning, and the ability to write about complex ideas in an approachable way.”
—Carol Ann Tomlinson, EdD, author of How to Differentiate Instruction in Academically Diverse Classrooms
"I can't wait to get this insightful book into the hands of teachers, home educators, and parents. Every kind of learner is honored and helped in this practical handbook on brain function and study habits. Highly recommended!"
—Julie Bogart, author of The Brave Learner
“A fantastic resource. The authors translate sophisticated brain research into practical insights anyone can apply immediately. A must-read book for educators and students alike."
—Scott H. Young, author of Ultralearning
"Informed by neuroscience, leavened with humor, and written with verve and wisdom, Uncommon Sense Teaching is a brilliant new take on the ancient problem of pedagogy. I can’t wait to apply its insights to my own teaching—and my own learning."
—Steven Strogatz, PhD, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University and author of Infinite Powers
“The neuroscience-based tools in this book empower educators to make meaningful pivots in teaching practices to increase student success. Foundational reading for educators across the K-12 and higher education spaces.”
—Jacqueline El-Sayed, PhD, Chief Academic Officer, American Society for Engineering Education
“Every educator who reads this book, no matter how long they have been teaching, will take from it a better understanding of the brain and practical strategies to bolster student learning, performance, and well-being.”
—James M. Lang, PhD, author of Small Teaching
“In Uncommon Sense Teaching, the authors do a marvelous job of bridging gaps between teaching, psychology, and neuroscience. As a cognitive scientist and a teacher myself, I found the book full of fascinating research from my field as well as practical strategies I can use in my classroom tomorrow. If you're looking for research-based teaching strategies, with evidence to back them up, Uncommon Sense Teaching is a must-read.”
—Pooja K. Agarwal, PhD, coauthor of Powerful Teaching
“This book translates a wealth of knowledge about cognitive science into action, equipping teachers with a better understanding of the science of learning and offering practical strategies to help students learn.”
—György Buzsáki, MD, PhD, The Brain from Inside Out
“Written by three renowned professors whose different areas of knowledge complement each other quite well, the book masterfully integrates rich knowledge about the brain and cognition with best practices in teaching and learning. Useful for teachers and professors, high school and college students, and for that matter, all curious minds.”
—Nelson Cowan, PhD, Curators Distinguished Professor, University of Missouri - Columbia
“A superb book. Uncommon Sense Teaching reflects a deep and broad understanding of the underlying science of learning. It explains ideas and findings clearly, with excellent examples. Both novices and experts will enjoy reading this book and will inevitably learn from it.”
—Michael Ullman, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Georgetown University
“A spritely, pitch-perfect translation of neuroscience and learning science research into practical, usable strategies for the classroom. You’ll learn why your students’ brains forget, procrastinate, or self-sabotage—and perhaps most importantly, how to help them succeed.”
—Alex Sarlin, director of learning engineering at 2U