Poor Quality Discourse: Schank on Hirsch and Willingham

Academic Computing

I was in the education section of a bookshop today, and was scanning along the books. Literally adjacent to Daniel Willingham’s “Why Don’t Students Like Schools?” (which I’ve recently blogged on here and here) was a book called “Teaching Minds” by Roger Schank. I flicked through it and found a section ripping into Willingham’s work. This provides an interesting case study in trying to judge two opposing viewpoints without expert knowledge — as I’ll explain below.

Willingham vs Schank

Willingham seems to be in vogue in the UK recently, as does Daisy Christodoulou and her “Seven Myths about Education” book which is along similar lines. Their area of education is not my background, so I can’t judge their viability directly. Schank clearly opposes them, which leaves it up to me, as an amateur reader, to judge whose view is correct.

Here is an excerpt of the two pages I…

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