Now You See It Book Review

1659 words - 7 pages

A video is put on, and in the beginning of this video your told to count how many times the people in the white shirts pass the ball. By the time the scene is over, most of the people watching the video have a number in their head. What these people missed was the gorilla walking through as they were so focused on counting the number of passes between the white team. Would you have noticed the gorilla? According to Cathy Davidson this is called attention blindness. As said by Davidson, "Attention blindness is the key to everything we do as individuals, from how we work in groups to what we value in our classrooms, at work, and in ourselves (Davidson, 2011, pg.4)." Davidson served as the vice provost for interdisciplinary studies at Duke University helping to create the Program in Science and Information Studies and the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience. She also holds highly distinguished chairs in English and Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke and has written a dozen different books. By the end of the introduction Davidson poses five different questions to the general population. Davidson's questions include, "Where do our patterns of attention come from? How can what we know about attention help us change how we teach and learn? How can the science of attention alter our ideas about how we test and what we measure? How can we work better with others with different skills and expertise in order to see what we're missing in a complicated and interdependent world? How does attention change as we age, and how can understanding the science of attention actually help us along the way? (Davidson, 2011, p.19-20)." Although Davidson hits many good points in Now You See It, overall the book isn't valid. She doesn't exactly provide answers to her questions posed, most of her sources are outdated and personal, and for someone who is advocating against attention blindness, she sure has a lot of it when it comes to this book and her ideas making her a hypocrite.
Usually while reading a book where questions are posed right from the start in the introduction, it is assumed proper answers would be provided for the questions. Unfortunately, that is not the case with Davidson's book Now You See It. All the chapters in the book are lengthy, but the one chapter that should be the longest, the conclusion, happens to be the shortest chapter in the entire book. As said before, Davidson does provides many great ideas yet never has a plan on how anyone can put these ideas in action. How is it possible to see her work as valid if she doesn't provide sufficient answers to her core questions of the book? The ideas given are good, but are somewhat unrealistic. Davidson basically wants to wipe out the whole eduction system in use now and completely redo it, what if it fails? The conclusion is way to brief and leaves the reader hanging. Just this alone takes a great extent of credibility away from Davidson. She is an author of a dozen books and claims to be an expert in the...

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