Thinking, Fast and Slow

This illuminating book, by Daniel Kahneman, begins by noting that we have to name things before we can study them. The title indicates the objects of study – two different kinds of thinking. One of the pleasures of reading this book is that one recognizes immediately the thinking he is describing, both the fast and the slow.

Fast thinking he calls System 1: it is the intuitive thinking that enables us to operate instantaneously in a complex world; it is the thinking that constructs our understanding of space and time, our automatic comprehension of human feelings and responses, and our practice of habitual skills.  At its most rapid this kind of thinking takes evasive action in a potential road accident before it happens. Continue reading

An Ethic of Excellence (continued)

On the first page of this book Ron Berger says: “If you’re going to do something, I believe, you should do it well.” He argues that the pride of the craftsman should apply to teaching and learning, as well as to carpentry. His book shows how this can be achieved in the most ordinary school – but only by changing the culture.

Better than any of the other literature recommended to me by the teachers at MMHS, his book explains the principles that underlie the way the school is run. Perhaps the most important of these is that the emphasis is on learning rather than teaching. The focus is on enabling young people to learn how to learn. The teachers themselves are lifelong learners and, when starting a new project, have to learn alongside the pupils. Continue reading

An Ethic of Excellence

This book, by Ron Berger, helped me to understand what is going on at Matthew Moss High School. As Lindsey said, when she lent me a copy, it is inspirational.

In this blog, however,  I’ll mention only one point that the author makes towards the end of the book, because I felt this passionately throughout my fourteen years in Teacher Education:

TEACHING IS HARD!!! Continue reading