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Book Review: Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA! Don’t Teach Data. Teach Them How to Learn the Data by Guinevere Durham

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Guinevere Durham’s Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA is an important book about the importance of teaching kids of all ages proper thinking skills so they can most effectively learn in today’s technological age.

Durham does a great job to make the book user friendly and clear for teens of all ages, parents, and teachers. Durham argues that teachers need to teach students five skills in order for them to learn most effectively. First, kids must learn logic and how to think rationally. Second, kids must learn how to think critically. This is a life skill that, once learned, will make all the difference in the world for kids. Third, kids must learn how to effectively solve problems. Fourth, kids must learn to how to investigate the facts. Lastly, kids must experiment by checking and double checking all the information before solving the problem.

In addition, there are three different learning styles, and unless educators understand this, they may think that a kid may not be learning the information presented quickly enough. Some kids are visual learners, others are auditory learners, and still others are tactile or kinesthetic learners. Teachers must become familiar with these different learning styles. In this way, teachers could help kids to instill the love of learning for a lifetime by not wrongly categorizing them.

Teachers and parents need to do more than teach facts. They should help teach kids how to learn the facts. There is a huge difference between these two kinds of teaching. Our culture and times are much more sophisticated and complicated than ever before. Computers and the internet have changed the learning and teaching landscape for kids and teens. Durham’s book is an essential read for all teachers and parents. The book will also enlighten kids and teens on how best to learn, given their learning style.

I absolutely loved Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA. It is clear, concise, and very well documented and explained. I recommend the book to all parents, educators, and teachers. It should be a book that is in every school library as a reference tool as well. I think it will go a long way towards creating clearer thinkers. And this is certainly what we need for our youth for the next twenty to thirty years.

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