WOW! Adding Pizzazz to Teaching and Learning
Publication Type:Web Article
Year of Publication:2005
Gail V. Ritchie, a PhD. and NBCT in Virginia, describes how the author highlights the link between emotion and intellect to show that lessons with an element of surprise or fun can make a strong impression on student learning.
Citation: Barkley, S.G. (2005). WOW! Adding pizzazz to teaching and learning. Allentown, PA: Performance Learning Systems.
by Stephen G. Barkley (Terri Bianco, Contributing Editor)
2005 (86 pp./ softcover)
Performance Learning Systems
Gail V. Ritchie, PhD, NBCT
Fairfax County, Virginia
I received this book as a thank you for reviewing another book
written by Stephen G. Barkley. Teachers always love to receive
"free stuff," especially when it is as motivating and entertaining
as WOW! The book focuses on quality experiences that
are engaging, cheering, and motivating. However, the author
is very careful to point out that a WOW is "not meant to be
pure entertainment" (p. 15). WOWs can serve as invitations
to learning, reteaching experiences, and/or culminating experiences.
They are vivid, memorable experiences designed to surprise
and captivate attention. WOWs help all involved remember that
learning can and should be fun.
Barkley references recent research and writing to back up his emphasis
on the connection between emotion and intellect. He also
provides many wonderful examples of WOWs, such as the science
teacher who "ate" a candle, the teachers who wore flowerpot
hats, and the teacher with a briefcase full of money. Barkley
defines a WOW experience as one which includes an "element
of surprise, novelty, and fun" (p. 6). I certainly enjoyed
reading this book, and I was most certainly inspired to
add WOWs to my own teaching. The book is a quick, enjoyable
read; I highly recommend it!