This book makes a compelling and articulate case for aligning reading instruction for black adolescent males with content that is relevant (in their eThis book makes a compelling and articulate case for aligning reading instruction for black adolescent males with content that is relevant (in their eyes) as well as pertinent: works that will help them understand a context for turmoil they may be experiencing and show them a path to a more satisfying life. It also describes a variety of teaching practices that have been shown to help readers develop habits of mind that lead to thorough comprehension and thoughtful consideration of ideas. ...more
This book presents an expert review of the new Common Core State Standards for literacy and describes some strategies for using the introduction of thThis book presents an expert review of the new Common Core State Standards for literacy and describes some strategies for using the introduction of the new standards as a catalyst for accelerating student achievement. The authors include two of the guiding leaders of Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Lucy Calkins and Mary Ehrenworth. As they always do, the team at the Project manage to bring life to what could be a tediously dry topic, infusing their discussion with their trademark, life-affirming respect for the process of helping children learn and grow. ...more
The way statistics are used in this book, and the way the author has chosen to lump together studies with disparate methodologies, will be disconcertiThe way statistics are used in this book, and the way the author has chosen to lump together studies with disparate methodologies, will be disconcerting for many readers with backgrounds in research. My first bias is to forgive that, both because the author fully discloses the limitations inherent in meta-analysis and because the validity of the statistical approach isn't really so important if there is a good suggestion shared that leads to more learning. In any case, I'm less likely to be swayed by a statistical argument than by a gut reaction to a recommendation. Good ideas are often obviously valuable once shared; they don't need numeric support. If it doesn't feel right and I can't see myself doing it, the statistics probably won't persuade me to embrace.
On the other hand, it seems likely that the author incorporated all of the numeric measures as a way to draw in a certain type of reader: one who craves to ignore the "art" of teaching mentioned in the book's title in order to imagine that the process is one which can be converted into a technology to be replicated inexpensively, in the tradition of McDonalds. Such a reader could make some tiresome trouble brandishing these numbers in a cavalier way.
My fears about the abuse of this research are in no way diminished by the companion website product, iObservation, rolled out by the author's organization to facilitate more rigorous and effective teacher evaluations. Though the site may be capable of greater things, the portions I have seen are custom-built to delight the kind of clipboard- (or iPad-) wielding apparatchik who has more invested in wardrobe than in intellect.
So, just like sharp knives in the kitchen that are useful in the right hands, there are tools described here that can lead to a job better done. If we can just keep them out of the hands of those who know not how to use them safely, we'll be fine....more
The author shares some remarkable stories of healing and growth, and gives us hope that with effort and determination, we can become happier and moreThe author shares some remarkable stories of healing and growth, and gives us hope that with effort and determination, we can become happier and more successful....more
This memoir is inspiring in two ways. First, for the uplifting story of a young man without means who reads in the library during a time when his famiThis memoir is inspiring in two ways. First, for the uplifting story of a young man without means who reads in the library during a time when his family was unable to pay the fees for him to attend school, then scavenges for makeshift parts to build a windmill to provide electricity to light his family home. Then, in a second phase to this man's story, his initiative comes to the attention of people who understand the power of this kind of personal vision to overcome the indifference of sovereign governments to the poverty of its people. As the book ends, a handful of extra-governmental network connections have occurred, leading the young man to have the opportunity to present at TED conferences, publish this book, appear on TV shows, and marshal some contributions - modest amounts relative to developed world standards - that can transform life for the people of a Malawian community and provide a model for interventions across the world....more