Second annual CASTLE summer book club starts June 15

Willingham After much deliberation, I’ve decided to do another online summer book club. I’m supposed to be taking the summer off but last year’s discussion of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything was so much fun that I can’t resist doing it again…

This year’s reading for the CASTLE summer book club will be Why Don’t Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for Your Classroom. The author is Dr. Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology at The University of Virginia.

Getting started

  1. Complete the online participation form by midnight, June 10 (Central time).
  2. Buy the book!


  • We start June 15. Be ready.
  • Keep up with the reading. No excuses.
  • Be an active participant in our online discussion area.
  • Dissect ideas vigorously but also be nice to other discussants.
  • Help foster interesting dialogue and connected community.


  1. 6/15 to 6/21 – Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2 (40 pages)
  2. 6/22 to 6/28 – Chapters 3 and 4 (40 pages)
  3. 6/29 to 7/5 – Chapters 5 and 6 (32 pages)
  4. 7/6 to 7/12 – Chapters 7 and 8 (34 pages)
  5. 7/13 to 7/19 – Chapter 9, Conclusion, and Wrap-Up (20 pages)

This offer is open to all leaders and change agents, at whatever level they’re operating (hint: this might be a good summer activity for some of your local principals or superintendents!).

I’m looking forward to some interesting discussions. Hope some of you will join me this summer!

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9 Responses to “Second annual CASTLE summer book club starts June 15”

  1. Sweet! Can’t wait to get started. Thanks for facilitating this, Scott!

  2. I am considering joining your club, but I may be more critiquing the work than expounding on how great or useful his ideas are. I’ve read a little of his writing here: And while not a huge Alfie Kohn fan, he has a well thought out response here: which makes me a little skeptical going into Willingham’s book.
    So if its predominantly to support the book, I might not be the best participant for this.

  3. Greg, we’re going to critically dissect the book: good, bad, confusing, helpful, whatever. This will be an intellectual give-and-take. Hope you join us!

  4. I am glad that I was checking my favorites and came back to DI. I am planning on getting the book tonight and signing up once it is in my hands.

    Looking forward to having an opportunity to have a great conversation about the book!

  5. I’m going to pick the book up now. Looks like it’ll start some good discussion.

  6. I actually just bought this book to read this summer and the next day was reading the Dangerously Irrelevant blog and found the online book club!! I am excited to get started! Thanks for organizing this!

  7. yay. my super is even joining me. i told him you’re the best and we’d be sorry not to. thank you for giving up part of your summer for this – for us – scott.

  8. Thanks for the kind words, Monika. I’m looking forward to it too. Congrats on getting your superintendent to join us!

  9. Scott – if I have a colleague who didn’t sign up. Can he still participate in the on-line discussion? I was confused in your FAQs.

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