A call to fundamentally reconfigure educational systems so that students can reach their full potential as responsible world citizens.
In this impressively researched work, Vevaina (English/Univ. of Mumbai, Bernice Banana, 2011, etc.) argues that educators must encourage students to peer inward and outward simultaneously, embracing individuality while also exploring interconnectedness with their surroundings—both immediate and global. According to the author, children should start learning about the power of language and the assignation of meanings at a very young age. Likewise, they should engage with authentic multicultural materials, including the study of a second language. In order to achieve a balance among different types of intelligence (rational/serial, emotional/associative, and spiritual/unitive), Vevaina recommends classroom use of poems, stories and myths. The only chapter that’s not entirely convincing addresses the work of Jean Shinola Bolen, who employs Greek mythological figures to create archetypes that represent certain personality traits, strengths and difficulties. Vevaina deflects any criticism of this approach and believes it’s a useful tool for understanding patterns of child behavior rather than an infallible guide, but some readers may prefer more concrete ideas like those in the final chapter, “Walking the Talk.” Here, for instance, the author demonstrates how her vision can be implemented to teach the concept of angles. This lesson plan includes a helpful assessment rubric and extends beyond mathematics to embrace science, nature, art, architecture, sports and cuisine. Overall, Vevaina displays a wide range of knowledge. Quotations of supportive material are well-chosen and illustrative yet sometimes overwhelming in their sheer volume. The result is a dense text that may hinder some readers. When Vevaina writes in her own voice, however, the prose is clear and persuasive: “If we pour fresh, deliciously flavoured milk into a pot which is full of curdled milk, it will surely curdle.” In other words, creative ideas alone will not make the required changes; a structural reconsideration of current educational norms and practices is necessary.
An inspiring blueprint that merits further elaboration.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)