When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

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kayanco
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When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby kayanco » Wed Mar 23, 2016 2:43 pm

Hi guys,

Has anyone read the book "When Can You Trust the Experts: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education" by Daniel Willingham?

If so, can you please share your thoughts, and do you think it can apply/transfer to other life areas (health, personal finance, etc).

Thank you.

kayanco
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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby kayanco » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:20 am

Anyone?

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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby Gord » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:56 am

:pardon: Read? Book? If it ain't got pictures or is more than ~20 pages long, I get bored and wander off.
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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:31 pm

"An expert is someone who has read a hundred books on a subject." Un Re Membered.
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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:57 am

I would never subject or suggest to anyone ANY book on "education." Trying to mash it with science is a fraud on its face. Was that a typo?
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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby kayanco » Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:40 pm

He does appear to be a foremost expert on learning and education, so I was interested in this book. On his blog he dispels a lot of myths like learning styles, brain-based/neuro-based memory training, etc. I was amazed by the proliferation of psedu-science in education and how we learn ... so was looking to educate myself a bit better on this subject.

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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:57 am

kayanco--forgive me, you are being totally reasonable. I read all those earlier books from Piaget to Spock. There is education on a personal level then on the totally different institutional level. Two different worlds entirely. It was the later that has gained by disdain, the former the most important activity there is. Mind the gap.
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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby Poodle » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:25 am

Willingham's own advice from his website, describes what looks like very sound methodology ...

"The second half of the book describes the short cut, which consists of four steps:

Strip it. Clear away the verbiage and look at the actual claim. What exactly is the claim suggesting a teacher or parent should do, and what outcome is promised?

Trace it. Who created this idea, and what have others said about it? It's common to believe something because an authority confirms it, and this is often a reasonable thing to do. I think people rely heavily on credentials when evaluating education research, but I argue that it’s a weak indicator of truth.

Analyze it. Why are you being asked to believe the claim is true? What evidence is offered, and how does the claim square with your own experience?

Should I do it? You're not going to adopt every educational program that is scientifically backed, and it may make sense to adopt one that has not been scientifically evaluated."

The first thing to do is apply those principles to Willingham's own book. As the above advice is a part of that, I suspect the book may be soundly based.

As for applying these rules to other areas of life ... well, yes. They're pretty sound principles of scientific skepticism (although the last one is a bit on the vague side).

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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby kayanco » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:15 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:kayanco--forgive me, you are being totally reasonable. I read all those earlier books from Piaget to Spock. There is education on a personal level then on the totally different institutional level. Two different worlds entirely. It was the later that has gained by disdain, the former the most important activity there is. Mind the gap.


No problem :)
You make a good point. I'm reading a book called "How to read a book" by Mortimer Adler, and he claimed that the level of education at institutions is such that even after college, people can't read books analytically.

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Re: When Can You Trust the Experts? Dan Willingham

Postby kayanco » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:17 pm

[quote="Poodle"][/quote]

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book.


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