What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise — although the philosophers generally call it “recognition”!
You might not have noticed (I’ve been the very soul of subtlety!) but I’ve got a new book out in June.
This is my third book, and I have to say I love the process of assembling ideas, crafting them into some semblance of meaning, rethinking, redrafting, editing, proofreading. Writing is so much more than I ever thought it was before establishing a foothold in the publishing industry and I pretty much enjoy it all. The bit that terrifies me is sending it out there into the world. It’s not so much that a book on education largely lives and dies by it’s Amazon ranking, it’s risking the disappointment and disapproval of those I admire.
It’s fair to say I was equal parts delighted and relieved when Doug Lemov said of my last book, “David Didau’s book is everything a book about the work of teaching should be: clear-eyed, lively, wise and funny. Written by a front-line practitioner of the craft.”
So, when I sent early drafts what I’m calling “Wrong Book’ to various people I respect and admire their feedback was really valuable, but sending it out to some of my educational heroes felt like an enormous risk.
I’ve now had stamps of approval from Bob Bjork, Dan Willingham and Dylan Wiliam. Even if everyone else thinks it’s rubbish, I will treasure comments like these for years to come:
The title indicates that Didau is ready to smash idols. Fortunately for us, he creates more than he destroys, deftly assembling findings from the learning sciences to build a path toward more effective classroom learning.
A truly remarkable book. No other book that I know of manages to integrate an in-the-trenches classroom-teaching perspective with an accessible coverage of critical findings from cognitive-science research.
Robert A Bjork
This is my new favourite book on education. I read it from cover to cover before writing this preface, and I plan to revisit it regularly. If I was still running a PGCE programme, it would be required reading for my students, and I can think of no better choice for a book-study for experienced teachers. Anyone seriously interested in education should read this book.
So what are these kinds of ‘dust jacket endorsements’ worth? A hell of lot! Does this mean I’m especially shallow? Not according to Cicero who said, “We are motivated by a keen desire for praise, and the better a man is the more he is inspired by glory. The very philosophers themselves, even in those books which they write in contempt of glory, inscribe their names.”
I can’t tell you how proud I am to have inscribed my name on this.
If you read it, I’ll be exceedingly grateful for your comments too.
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