Martin Kozloff critically analyses the philosophical and rhetorical problems associated with much ‘constructivist’ pedagogy. He argues that the prevalence of muddled thinking in education is responsible for widespread educational mediocrity.
John Stone challenges the ‘orthodoxy’ of pedagogical thought in US teacher training institutions. His thesis is that achievement is not the most important priority in education for this orthodoxy – and that the growing evidence of how to improve students learning outcomes is being ignored.
In this Children of the Code interview Louisa Moats explains the detailed knowledge of language systems and reading development needed by teachers in order for them to deliver effective reading instruction.
Daniel Willingham argues that comprehension relies on prior knowledge as well as vocabulary and other reading strategies. Prior knowledge is usually necessary to understand a text and this knowledge needs to be built in to lessons so that students learn about the world throughout their schooling.
The updated edition of a classic that shows how teachers can apply the principles discovered in Applied Behaviour Analysis to their classrooms, to achieve the emotional and learning climates that produce confident, successful students. (NB This link takes you to Amazon, not the book itself.)
Painstakingly researched and field-tested, the principles in this book form the basis not only for Direct Instruction programmes but for any instructional design that teachers want to be efficient, powerful and long-lasting. As one reviewer put it: “The art of instruction is becoming a technology. One hundred years from now smart people will be teaching with Engelmann's methods. The chaff in current theory will be gone and student performance will be so advanced you won't know it by today's standards.” (This links to Amazon, not the book itself.)
Designing Instructional Strategies: the prevention of academic learning problems (Kame'enui E J & Simmons D C 1990) Pearson
A challenging text which shows how logical organisation and careful sequencing of curricula can ensure that learning is efficient, fast and enduring. (NB This links to Amazon, not the book itself.)
Although not easy to obtain, this comprehensive text provides a host of lucidly organised information on ways of addressing even the most profound learning difficulties. Beneath all this practice lies a clear ethical framework that values people regardless of their abilities or disabilities. (NB This links to Amazon, not the book itself.)