Dual Coding With Teachers by Oliver Caviglioli
John Catt Educational Ltd. 2019
This book is a work of art, both in regards to how it is presented (there are so many helpful illustrations) and in how superbly it delivers its message. But that’s the point of the book, it leads by example and uses its message to deliver its message (it’s so meta, it’s genius!).
Oh, and it smells great!
Check the Richter scale, this one is groundbreaking!
Oliver Caviglioli is a former headteacher of a special school and the son of an architect father, from whom he received his design and graphics education as a child. He is an author and illustrator who has collaborated with many other educators, often providing excellent illustrations for their books, most recently; Tom Sherrington’s Rosenshine’s Principles in Action.
With the continuing emergence of cognitive science-based education research, Oliver finds himself uniquely positioned, able to combine his educational and graphic design background to promote the practice of dual coding in education.
What is Dual Coding Theory?
Dual coding theory, first hypothesised by Allan Paivio in 1971, is a process of combining verbal and visual materials. Put simply, it works on the basis that having two forms of your materials it is more likely to be A. understood and B. remembered.
Whilst this description may sound basic, the theory itself, unlike a lot of Edu-fads (cough…learning styles…cough) it is backed by plenty of scientific evidence that it actually improves learning.
There are many forms that the visual element may take, from cartoon strips and diagrams to infographics and timelines. Caviglioli’s book explains why and how each can be used and gives examples of their effective application.
Dual Coding With Teachers is intelligent and beautiful; like a Dolphin in a ballgown.
In 254 beautifully crafted pages, Oliver Cavaglioli has produced a book that not only explains the dual coding theory with exceptional but simple clarity but also shows you how and why you should incorporate it into your practice. It isn’t a stand-alone teaching technique but more a supporting scaffold that will take your already great teaching and make it even better.
I’ll be honest, embarrassingly, I’d never heard of dual coding theory before opening Cavaglioli’s book. My artistic skills peaked and remain at stickmen and my handwriting is Dr-like at best, so when I realised what this book teaches, I was sceptical it would be something I’d benefit from.
I WAS WRONG!
It is exactly the book I needed to read. Whether you penmanship is Neanderthal-like or reminiscent of something an angel would produce, Dual Coding With Teachers will show you how you can use it to convey a much clearer, more accessible lesson.
One of the aspects of this book that I liked the most was the different reading routes it gives you.
You can obviously go for default; start to finish, which will work brilliantly, but Caviglioli also provides alternate routes, designed for your level of understanding and skill.
Four routes (novice, intermediate, proficient and advanced) are mapped out for you in such a way that you get the most relevant lessons for you. Each route takes you through different skills and applications that build on the previous route.
It’s like getting 5 books for the price of 1!
Weaved throughout the book are double-page case studies from 35 teachers, designers and psychologists, highlighting their dual coding practice with written explanations and examples of the graphics they’ve produced.
Dual Coding With Teachers is a book like none I’ve seen before. If you teach anyone, of any age, in any setting, you should read it, reread it and then read it again.
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If you are in the US order it here:
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