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Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Overcoming Reading Problems at Any Level by Sally Shaywitz

From Publishers Weekly
Yale neuroscientist Shaywitz demystifies the roots of dyslexia (a neurologically based reading difficulty affecting one in five children) and offers parents and educators hope that children with reading problems can be helped. Shaywitz delves deeply into how dyslexia occurs, explaining that magnetic resonance imaging has helped scientists trace the disability to a weakness in the language system at the phonological level. According to Shaywitz, science now has clear evidence that the brain of the dyslexic reader is activated in a different area than that of the nonimpaired reader. Interestingly, the dyslexic reader may be strong in reasoning, problem solving and critical thinking, but invariably lacks phonemic awareness-the ability to break words apart into distinct sounds-which is critical in order to crack the reading code. The good news, Shaywitz claims, is that with the use of effective training programs, the brain can be rewired and dyslexic children can learn to read. She walks parents through ways to help children develop phonemic awareness, become fluent readers, and exercise the area of the brain essential for reading success. Early diagnosis and effective treatment, the author claims, are of utmost importance, although even older readers can learn to read skillfully with proper intervention. Shaywitz's groundbreaking work builds an important bridge from the laboratory to the home and classroom.  Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. 


Click For More InfoLearning by Heart 
by Roland S. Barth (Author), Deborah Meier (Author)

Book Description:  A decade after publication of his best-selling book, Barth returns to the schoolhouse. Drawing from a career committed to building schools rich in community, learning, and leadership, he shows how to accomplish the most difficult task of school reform-transforming a school's culture so that it will be hospitable to human learning. In an engaging conversational style, he suggests how school people can become the architects, engineers, and designers of their own schools-and of their own destinies.

From the Publisher:  "In a very large chorus of proponents of school reform, Roland Barth's voice stands out. As usual, his grounded wisdom makes so much sense. He rightfully puts the locus for improvement in the hands of teachers and principals. He outlines some ideas for creating a community of learners at the local level. He shares some fresh thoughts for developing educational leaders-teachers and principals. Bust most important, he restores the zest and sacredness of learning-the heart of education." -Terrence E. Deal, Irving Melbo Professor, Rossier School, University of Southern California

"Roland Barth has done it again! His wisdom and compassion, added to his ability to cut through 'flavor of the month' reforms and get to the fundamentals of changing school cultures, make this book a critical read for all educators who care about making good schools for students and their teachers." -Ann Lieberman, senior scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and emeritus professor, Teachers College, Columbia University.

"Plain-spoken and persuasive convictions about schoolkeeping by a wise and humane educator." -Theodore R. Sizer, chair, Coalition of Essential Schools, Inc.

"There is learning here for anyone who cares about education and how to create dynamic schools. Roland Barth brings both flaming passion and cool thoughts to this powerful book by reflecting on his conversations with those of us working to improve schools." -Yvonne Chan, principal, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center


cover Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education 

by Peter M. Senge (Editor), Nelda H. Cambron McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Art Kleiner, Janis Dutton, Bryan Smith

Book Description: Created by bestselling author and MIT senior lecturer Peter Senge and a team of educators and organizational change leaders, this new addition to the Fifth Discipline Resource Book series offers practical advice for educators, administrators, and parents on how to strengthen and rebuild our schools.

Few would argue that schools today are in trouble. The problems are sparking a national debate as educators, school boards, administrators, and parents search for ways to strengthen our school system at all levels, more effectively respond to the rapidly changing world around us, and better educate our children.

Bestselling author Peter Senge and his Fifth Discipline team have written Schools That Learn because educators--who have made up a sizable percentage of the audience for the popular Fifth Discipline books--have asked for a book that focuses specifically on schools and education, to help reclaim schools even in economically depressed or turbulent districts. One of the great strengths of Schools That Learn is its description of practices that are meeting success across the country and around the world, as schools attempt to learn, grow, and reinvent themselves using the principles of organizational learning. Featuring articles, case studies, and anecdotes from prominent educators such as Howard Gardner, Jay Forrester, and 1999 U.S. Superintendent of the Year Gerry House, as well as from impassioned teachers, administrators, parents, and students, the book offers a wealth of practical tools, anecdotes, and advice that people can use to help schools (and the classrooms in them and communities around them) learn to learn.

You'll read about schools, for instance, where principals introduce themselves to parents new to the school as "entering a nine-year conversation" about their children's education; where teachers use computer modeling to galvanize student insight into everything from Romeo and Juliet to the extinction of the mammoths; and where teachers' training is not just bureaucratic ritual but an opportunity to recharge and rethink the classroom.

In a fast-changing world where school violence is a growing concern, where standardized tests are applied as simplistic "quick fixes," where rapid advances in science and technology threaten to outpace schools' effectiveness, where the average tenure of a school district superintendent is less than three years, and where students, parents, and teachers feel weighed down by increasing pressures, Schools That Learn offers much-needed material for the dialogue about the educating of children in the twenty-first century.


The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing Is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live
by Shelley E. Taylor

From Publishers Weekly
Taylor, a psychology professor at UCLA, makes the claim that "we are fundamentally a nurturant species," biologically programmed to "tend and befriend" one another. As an expert in stress, she has long seen a deficiency in the dominant theory that only the "fight or flight" instinct has motivated humans and facilitated our survival and evolution. Taylor's theory is based solidly on clinical studies and observations, along with a meticulous review of the old nature-versus-nurture argument. Contending that caregiving, altruism and cooperation are helpful and even necessary for survival of the species, and in fact instinctive and biological in origin, Taylor thoroughly explores animal and human behaviors and brain functions. She presents this fascinating material in a highly readable voice and text, with nearly 80 pages of endnotes for those wishing to pursue further study of her claims and extensive documentation. Clearly demonstrating the adverse effects of lack of "tending and befriending" in terms of physical and mental health, longevity, crime and a host of other social ills, Taylor claims that "the prevailing view of self-interest as a dominant human motivation has led to a self-fulfilling prophecy." Taylor offers an alternative that recognizes and encourages what she sees as essential and instinctive social skills, bonding, and support, arguing strongly that this heretofore ignored aspect of human nature can and should be respected and cultivated for the benefit (and continued survival) of individuals, families, groups, businesses and societies.  Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom
by Lisa D. Delpit (Editor), Joanne Kilgour Dowdy (Editor)

Book Description
From the MacArthur Award- winning author of Other People's Children, a collection that gets to the heart of the relationship between language and power in the classroom. A powerful and sophisticated reminder that words can indeed do as much damage as sticks and stones, The Skin That We Speak takes the discussion of language in the classroom beyond the highly charged war of idioms—in which "English only" really means standard English only—and presents today's teachers with a thoughtful exploration of the varieties of English we speak and the layers of politics, power, and identity those varieties carry. Edited by MacArthur Fellow and bestselling education author Lisa Delpit and education professor Joanne Dowdy, the book includes an extended new piece by Delpit herself, as well as groundbreaking new work by Herbert Kohl and Gloria Ladson-Billings, and classics by Asa Hilliard and Jules Henry. Award-winning educator Victoria Purcell-Gates looks at language-based assumptions about poor Appalachians and Schuaib Meacham follows the very different fates of two bright young African American teachers-in-training, one of whom speaks "standard" English and one of whom speaks in school as she has been taught to speak at home. As children are written off in our schools because they do not speak formal English, and when class- and race-biased language used to describe those children determines their fate, The Skin That We Speak offers a cutting-edge look at crucial educational issues.

About the Author
MacArthur Fellow Lisa Delpit received the award for Outstanding Contribtuion to Education in 1993 from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She currently holds the Benjamin E. Mays Chair of Urban Education Leadership at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Joanne Kilgour Dowdy is the Assistant Director at the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy and assistant professor at Georgia State University.


Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year
by Esme Raji Codell

Book Review by Amazon.com

Esmé Raji Codell has written a funny, hip diary filled with one-liners and unadorned thoughts that speak volumes about the raw, emotional life of a first-year teacher. Like Ally McBeal in the classroom, the miniskirted and idealistic Codell sometimes fantasizes her career is a musical. Her inner-city Chicago elementary school fades to black as the lunch lady strikes an arabesque or a struggling student performs the dance of the dying swan, all set to her interior soundtrack. (Tina Turner's "Funkier Than a Mosquita's Tweeter" echoes whenever her idea-stealing, dimwitted principal harangues her.) She's a rash, petite, white lady who roller-skates through the halls and insists that her fifth-graders call her "Madame Esmé." But it's not all fun and games: she introduces us to children who fling their desks and apologize in tears, and at one point, after reporting a disruptive student to her mother, who subsequently thrashes the young girl, she dry heaves into her classroom's trash can. 

Codell's 24-year-old voice is loud and clear ("Serious gross out," she writes after the scorned principal hugs her), though, on the principle that kids say the darnedest things, she often simply repeats their comments for comic effect. She's got sass, maybe too much self-confidence at times, and though there's no deep introspection in Educating Esmé, you'll be convinced her 10-year-old charges emerge the better for knowing her. --Jodi Mailander Farrell


cover
Other People's Children : Cultural Conflict in the Classroom
by Lisa D. Delpit

 

Delpit’s book makes you wonder about our schools and how they can better serve children of color and students who don’t possess the culture capital to do well.  Indeed, we have been skating around the answers on the margins of our classrooms.  Other People’s Children may infuriate some, have others nodding with recognition, but nobody can ignore her ideas.  Read Other people’s children to find out what’s really wrong with our school system and some practical yet potent antidotes to fix them. (Brian Thomas)


Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents

by Michael Gurian, Patricia Henley, and Terry Trueman

The best kept secret in education--a controversial manifesto on how the fundamental differences between boys and girls affect the way they learn.

Many of us have felt instinctively that boys and girls don't learn the same way or at the same rate. Now, we have the scientific evidence to document and understand their many biological gender differences. For instance, girls talk sooner, develop better vocabularies, read better, and have better fine motor skills. Boys, on the other hand, have better auditory memory, are better at three-dimensional reasoning, are more prone to explore, and achieve greater abstract design ability after puberty. In this profoundly significant book, Michael Gurian synthesizes this current knowledge and presents a new way to educate our children based on brain science, neurological development, and chemical and hormonal disparities. Then he goes on to demonstrate how this difference in hard-wiring and socialized gender differences affects how they learn.

Offering guidelines for brain-based innovations that will motivate and inspire everyone interested in educating kids, Gurian shows why we must change our classroom strategy, and makes specific suggestions for new techniques that will provide equal educational opportunities--customized for gender difference. Many of these innovations were developed during a two-year study that Gurian and his colleagues conducted in six Missouri school districts.

Michael Gurian (Spokane, WA) is an educator, family therapist, and author of fourteen books, including the bestselling Wonder of Boys, A Fine Young Man, and The Good Son. He is an internationally celebrated speaker and writer whose work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, and other national publications as well as on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and numerous other broadcast media.


The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life
by Parker J. Palmer

As a spiritually inspirational book for teachers, The Courage to Teach is one of the best. The premise is concise and unarguable: good teaching comes from the identity and the integrity of the teacher. Teachers are encouraged to turn their inquiring minds inward--developing a deeper understanding of what it means to fulfill the spiritual calling of teaching. Good teachers share one trait, says author Parker Palmer, they are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students, so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts--the place where intellect and emotion and spirit and will converge in the human self. (Gail Hudson, Amazon.com)


If You Don't Feed the Teachers They Eat the Students : Guide to Success for Administrators and Teachers
by Neila A. Connors

The author, Neila A. Connors , July 7, 2000
Teaching is the most important profession in the world.
Why did I write this book? As someone who spends an extraordinary amount of time in schools working with administrators and teachers, I saw a need for reflection. Through my personal experiences, I can irrefutably state that successful schools only survive when there are successful administrators leading the way. As simplistic as this may seem, effective schools exist and persevere only when an exceptional leader with a vision is the "head cook." Too often, the demise of a celebrated school occurs when a mediocre leader, who does not have the fire in her/his belly or passion to continue forging ahead, replaces a talented leader

This book is for anyone who agrees that teaching is the most important profession there is. It needs to be read by individuals who recognize that teaching is difficult and teachers need continual appreciative acts. This book is for all grade levels, all genders, all types of leaders, and all geographic locations. Most importantly, it is for anyone wanting to make a difference. Bon Apetit!

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