Vincent Eisman's Reviews > The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator's Rules for Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child

The Essential 55 by Ron Clark
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May 26, 13

bookshelves: education

Egads! People take the idea of having 55 rules seriously!? And further, rules that are so exceedingly specific or absurdly general? Rules that dictate how a student is to behave at home!? I couldn't remember 10 rules myself, even if I wrote them (I believe Harry Wong suggests no more than five). And finally, rules that aren't even enforceable!? Sheesh. New teachers, please learn and practice the difference between teaching worthy principles (which most of the 55 are) and making rules.

Student motivation should be a concern as well. I would much rather have a group of students who were slightly less orderly, but motivated from a passion for learning or excellence of character rather than coerced or performing for cookies of all things. I'm not saying the guy doesn't teach well or his students aren't into learning for its own sake, but the manner is way off the mark. More substance and less... ugh.

This guy is megalomaniacal and all about control. For a more tolerable megalomaniac who's all about heart and passion, read Rafe Esquith's Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire or his first book, There Are No Shortcuts. Both authors are full of themselves, but at least you'll actually learn something from Rafe.

2 stars for the pageant of absurdity.
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