This book will primarily interest adult educators, but it’s also a worthwhile read for anyone interested in education...




A psychologist demonstrates what he’s learned about intrinsic motivation and transformative learning.

During Wlodkowski’s (co-author: Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn, 2017, etc.) long career in academia, he’s had an interest in intrinsic motivation, which he defines as “when people act or respond for the satisfaction inherent in the behavior itself.” He uses stories from his own life to show how this concept influenced his own career. For example, his Aunt Ann lived with his family when he was young; she was the only one of her 11 siblings to leave home, and he found that he wanted to live a similarly interesting life. He says that her example inspired him to take a satisfying professional risk by accepting a position as human relations specialist for the Milwaukee Public Schools during their effort to desegregate. The author also stresses the importance of professional mentorship; he tells of how he invited his ancient history professor out for coffee one day, which led to a lifelong friendship. Throughout the book, he refers to their relationship and how it influenced his later career decisions. These frequent references clearly demonstrate the profound effect that the elder man had on his life, and successfully show the value of having a mentor. In the 1980s, his mother’s death made him realize that few formal learning opportunities were available to working women as they aged. This drove him to study what motivated adult learners; he went on to speak at adult education conferences and publish books on the topic. The bulk of this book consists of the author’s life story, told in chronological order, which flows well with the various lessons throughout. Because the author includes many personal anecdotes from his years in Detroit and the broader Midwest, this book will especially appeal to readers with connections to these areas. However, Wlodkowski’s expertise in such a specialized field may appeal to a somewhat narrower audience. At the end, he includes methods for teaching intrinsic motivation and transformation theory to adult learners via memoir writing and storytelling.

This book will primarily interest adult educators, but it’s also a worthwhile read for anyone interested in education history.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-90-04-38832-1

Page Count: 206

Publisher: Brill Sense

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2019

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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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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


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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