Book Reviews -

Dylan Wiliam  - xxx

        Dylan Wiliam lectures on education throughout the world. This book contains frank appraisals. It illustrates that there are no simple answers to creating  educational standards. There is difference between political dreams and practical realities. All his work is extremely interesting.

      The abiding theme of Dylan's work is that it is raising teaching standards that will improve children's attainment. He contents that a poor curriculum taught well is better than an excellent curriculum taught poorly.

     Whilst Dylan's reference to short-term memory,  working memory. is interesting. He argues that enabling all children to acquire fluent knowledge will resolve leaner's working memory problems, but the problem is that those with higher working memory capacity will be able to more increase their fluent knowledge, creating even more available working memory capacity.

     Dylan's support of John Sweller's research that children will experience difficulty learning through problem solving supports Howard's view. What is more significant is that he also asserts that context is important. The fact that children will generally not be able to transfer their problem solving skills from one context to another is also important.

       This book is a very interesting read.

Alex Quigley - xxx

     This book considers the desirable vacularly that children should learn in secondary school. Many secondary teachers do not appreciate how much factual knowledge children are required to learn in the Curriculum. 
       Quigley followed children on their transfer to secondary school where he explains that many children initial cope with the new language demands and they then loose heart. He refers to his having to teach the word metaphor each year.

        Quigley refers to the fact that children in deprived families on the whole are subject to 23 million words. He also acknowledges that children on more affulent. He claimed that the aim for children should be all around 50,000 words.

      There are some very interesting points in this book.



     Plomin refers to his life time research on twins. His findings are comtravrsial, especially his claim that parents do not have the full influence on children's up bringing as they believe.

     Plomin argues when identitical twins are adopted and split between different parents, they retain smiliar characteristics with their twin and birth parents, not their adopted parents.

      Plomin argues that half the population will always be average. He contends that education increases the differences in children's attainment. This is consistent with children's processing capacity, working memory.

      Height has a hereditary factor of 90%. Learning potential and intelligence has about 50% hereditary. Plomin clearly states this does not mean that Children's educational attainment is rigidly fixed.


        Kirsch discusses how France and Sweden wrecked their  elementary school through giving them to much autonomy to construct their own curriculums. He refers to them previously have some of the best curriculums in the world.


Children have always developed executive function. The fact that it has been identified raises the issues of whether it can developed in children. Children with A.D.H.D. have execitive function problems.