Advice for students and teachers rounds out a persuasive plea for creative learning.

THE NEW EDUCATION

HOW TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE UNIVERSITY TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR A WORLD IN FLUX

An argument for why higher education requires radical change to prepare students for an unpredictable future.

Distinguished educator Davidson (Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn, 2011, etc.), who directs the Futures Initiative at the City University of New York Graduate Center, believes that colleges are mired in 19th-century pedagogy. In an engaging, anecdotal, wide-ranging look at educational innovation, she argues that students “need new ways of integrating knowledge, including through reflection on why and what they are learning.” They must become active learners, not merely passive absorbers of lectures and rote memorizers. Davidson advocates dramatic pedagogical revisions, much like those instituted by Harvard’s president Charles Eliot in the 1880s, when he proposed a university that would prepare students for careers in an industrial age. Today’s students, writes the author, need skills to ready them for “intellectual space travel.” Davidson praises the nimbleness and flexibility of community colleges, which pioneer learning methods and institute support services (Metro cards, attentive advisers) for nontraditional students. She criticizes both technophobes who bemoan the internet and technophiles who believe computers will transform teaching. Students need digital skills and web literacy, she reasonably contends, but in the context of awareness about how technology connects to “every aspect of our political, personal, and economic lives.” Davidson cites Arizona State University as exemplary in curricular reform, where studies are connected “to community, to the cultural, physical, and socioeconomic conditions of Phoenix, Arizona, and the Southwest more generally.” Among the many educators whose ideas the author highlights is Christine Ortiz, an MIT professor and graduate school dean engaged in creating a nonprofit residential research university featuring project-based learning. Davidson sees current emphasis on STEM fields to be too focused on testing rather than real-life applications. “Youth,” she writes, “are still being graded into passivity and a state of fear by standardized classes.”

Advice for students and teachers rounds out a persuasive plea for creative learning.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-465-07972-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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