Speaker: Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is the author of Why Don't Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, and Raising Kids Who Read (forthcoming). His writing on education has appeared in thirteen languages.
Topic: Parents want their children to read, yet children don't. On average, teens devote just six minutes each day to leisure reading. What can parents and educators do to encourage kids to read? In this talk I will describe theories of choice: what factors influence the child's decision to read a book versus play a video game? Based on that analysis, I'll suggest four general principles that parents ought to keep in mind as they seek to raise a reader, and I'll also show how those principles translate into action at home. And although educators can’t control what happens at home, I'll suggest concrete steps they can take in their classrooms that will encourage leisure reading.