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REVIEW: Dual Coding With Teachers by Oliver Caviglioli


Dual Coding With Teachers by Oliver Caviglioli

John Catt Educational Ltd. 2019

  • First Published: 13 Mar 2019
  • ISBN: 9781912906253

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 education myths (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.

You can find Oliver on twitter (@olicav) and at his website (olicav.com).

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.


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.

This article contains some affiliate links, that we may get financial recompense, this in no way affects any reader in any purchases they may make.

If you are in the UK order it here:

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This article contains some affiliate links, that we may get financial recompense, this in no way affects any reader in any purchases they may make.

This article contains some affiliate links, that we may get financial recompense, this in no way affects any reader in any purchases they may make.

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More Reviews of Great Educational Books.

The researchEd Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction.

The researchED Guide to Education Myths.

Teaching for Mastery by Mark McCourt.

Rosenshine’s Principles in Action by Tom Sherrington

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Paul Fulbrookhttps://teacherofsci.com
Paul Fulbrook (TeacherOfSci) is a Science teacher, writer and education blogger based in Brighton, England. He started teacherofsci.com to help support teachers everywhere with the everyday struggles that they are all faced with, both in the classroom and at home.


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