An effective, far-reaching argument for revamping the way students learn in the U.S.

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KNOW POWER, KNOW RESPONSIBILITY

HOW TO UNLEASH THE POTENTIAL OF EVERY CHILD IN AMERICA

An education veteran offers a new vision for a holistic system of learning.

In this debut book, Miller presents a strategy for reinventing the learning environment that may be the first one inspired by the counterinsurgency tactics used in Afghanistan. The author argues that education reform requires the same kind of fundamental change to a “deeply entrenched and institutionalized” system. The work’s vision calls for replacing the current model of using sequential grades organized by age and following a standard curriculum—which Miller traces to an 1893 plan that established the current structure of education in the United States—with an individualized and project-based learning community in which students are responsible for setting their own goals under the guidance of mentors. The opening chapters explore the reasons for making changes to the system. Subsequent sections answer potential objections, present a case study of an ideal learning community in a fictional town, and guide readers through the process of implementing the author’s recommendations. Miller’s arguments are based on both personal experience and substantial research into the history of education and the psychology of learning (a bibliography is included). While he acknowledges that a fundamental overhaul of the education system may seem utopian, he makes a solid case for an individualized and comprehensive approach to the process that emphasizes learning rather than teaching. The case study is skillfully presented, and the guide to implementing systemic changes is thorough, thoughtful, and practical. Miller is a strong writer who assumes his readers are both open-minded and well intentioned (“You want to design a school model that results in every graduate having the traits, skills, and knowledge to thrive in the world of adults”), resulting in a compelling combination of optimism and realism. While the author’s dream of a completely transformed education system is one that will require the changing of minds and societal expectations, the work is a well-crafted and thought-provoking analysis of the structural shortcomings of the current designs of schools, classrooms, and assessments.

An effective, far-reaching argument for revamping the way students learn in the U.S.

Pub Date: July 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63489-229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

COLUMBINE

Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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THE ABOLITION OF MAN

The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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