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Awakening Genius in the Classroom

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  63 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"Every student is a genius," declares author Thomas Armstrong, and an educator's most important job is to discover and nurture the "genius qualities" that all students were born with but that may no longer be obvious. Urging readers to look beyond traditional understandings of what constitutes genius, Armstrong describes 12 such qualities: curiosity, playfulness, imaginati ...more
ebook, 94 pages
Published July 15th 1998 by ASCD (first published June 19th 1998)
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Jan 15, 2011 Kelsey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, teaching
This short book operates on the premise that "every student is a genius" and that educators need to encourage genius in their students and themselves. Armstrong defines "genius" as "giving birth to one's joy." He lists 12 qualities of genius (without claiming them as exhaustive): curiosity, playfulness, imagination, creativity, wonder, wisdom, inventiveness, vitality, sensitivity, flexibility, humor and joy. The first part discusses the nature of genius and these qualities. The second part outli ...more
Garreth Heidt
Sep 16, 2011 Garreth Heidt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book every August before I start school, and I've been reading it every year since I first picked it up almost 10 years ago. I'll agree with others who says it is full of generalizations only so far as this: What did you expect? If there were a specific, detailed method for genius, then we'd all be following it and our schools would be the top in the entire world. So sure, this is big-picture, right-brain thinking, and that's as it should be. Look at the work of Eric Jensen on the ar ...more
This book is almost more of a pamphlet and it reads quickly. It started off a bit too textbooky, but I still give it 3.5 stars because I keep thinking about the points Armstrong makes about every child having a bit of genius in her.

The gist of Armstrong's theory is that there are different kinds of "genius" such as creativity, sympathy, and joy, and it's up to us (teachers) to help nurture the genius in every child. I liked that he believes that it begins with the teacher, and that he must firs
Audra Costello
A short read that was mostly common sense, but had an inspiring message that all teachers should listen to and follow.
Jul 08, 2014 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While there wasn't anything new or surprising in this book for me, it carried some good reminders, as well as some affirmations that I am approaching things from the right direction.
Lawrence Linnen
Aug 07, 2012 Lawrence Linnen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most curious thing is that often educators do not see the student's curiosity when it appears. Instead, they may regard it as "off-task" behavior, irrelevancies, silliness, and even rudeness (pp. 3-4).

But more than using a child's curiosity to serve the needs of any particular lesson plan, educators need to recognize that these kinds of innocent questions emerge out of a student's genius -- their often insatiable need to find out everything they can about the world (p. 4).
Michelle Flores
This book focuses on the notion that every student is a genius. It covers what constitutes "genius," what forces in the world cause that genius to fade, and how we, as educators, can re-awaken that genius in our students. For me, the book was informative, though I wish there was more information on re-awakening the genius. That section of the book was very short and felt rushed.
Nov 10, 2014 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
Love the approach to learning, but like many education books falls a bit short on implementation. The most important thing to come from the book is the reminder to teachers that they must be actively and passionately engaged in learning (developing their own genius) in order to inspire their own students to develop their genius.
Anna Spanos
Sep 22, 2008 Anna Spanos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers
This book was pretty good, even though so much of it felt quite general, like Armstrong was just reiterating basic ideas for constructive classrooms that should be common sense. But a good quick read nonetheless (if you'd like to be reminded of how important good teachers are).
En Hikmah
Teaching and learning is not so easy for some people. But would be better if we know what to do and have something that shows us where to step. this book helps for that.
Tracy Depuydt
Great points, but very outdated.
Aug 14, 2013 Trisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good food for thought.
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Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is the author of sixteen books including his latest, The Power of the Adolescent Brain: Strategies for Teaching Middle and High School Students.

His other books include, Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life, The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain, The Human
More about Thomas Armstrong...

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“The word creativity is closely linked to the word genius, since both words have the root meaning 'to give birth.' Essentially, creativity designates the capacity to give birth to new ways of looking at things, the ability to make novel connections between disparate things, and the knack for seeing things that might be missed by the typical way of viewing life.” 3 likes
“Children and adolescents, being relatively new to life, are naturally creative because they haven't been brainwashed, so to speak, by the conventional attitudes of society. Consequently, students are always coming up with novel images, words, and actions that my delight, enlighten, or inspire adults....Creativity has not been the subject of intense focus, extensive research, or high levels of funding in American education.” 3 likes
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