By Thomas L. Friedman & Michael Mandelbaum c. 2011
There is an outstanding overview of dynamics contributing to current economic, political and
social dynamics in U.S. This will help voters in their decisions in the November 2012
elections. Part IV also addresses the significant difficulties in bipartisan cooperation in
the current Congress, and its serious ramifications.
In the div on THE EDUCATION CHALLENGE, there is a well-supported rationale for improvements
needed in U.S. education. Chapter 6 also refers to PISA – International Test Scores, and
aligns very well with the research presented on the INSTEAD web-site. There is strong support
for the value in advancement of STEM -Science, Technology, Engineering, Math.
The Death And Life Of The Great American Scool System: How Testing
and Choice are Undermining Education
By Linda Darling-Hammond c. 2010
Diane Ravitch is a former Assistant Secretary of Education and was a leader in the drive to
create a national curriculum. She now repudiates positions that she once advocated. She critiques
popular ideas like the business model, privatization, standardized testing, punitive accountability, charter
schools. A great deal of common sense!
I especially like her recommendation to encourage family involvement in education from an early age.
It is an example of the educational wisdom found in this book.
This is an excellent explanation of how the opportunity gap is constructed, and new standards
and testing can lead to narrowing of the gap for the disadvantaged while expanding the
opportunities for the more advantaged in our society.
Chapter 6 is especially strong in explaining how countries build strong teaching & learning
systems, with clear understanding of the factors leading to the high PISA international test
scores for Finland, Korea, and Singapore. One comes away with a more pragmatic understanding of
international standards, curriculum and assessments.
There is an emphasis on the position of doing what matters most, which is developing competent
teaching and infusing collaboration, planning and professional development into the school day.
Darling-Hammond has been a resource for educational policy and reform in the Obama administration,
and her perspective is a significant read.
Tony Wagner does an outstanding job of explaining the seven survival skills needed for future
workers, and how current education methods are outdated. The Seven Survival Skills are discussed
in detail with examples:
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
Collaboration Across Networks & Leading by Influence
Agility & Adaptability
Initiative & Entrepreneurialism
Effective Oral & Written Communication
Accessing & Analyzing Information
Curiosity & Imagination
Chapter 5 gives an enlightening explanation addressing the lack of motivation seen in today’s
students who are growing up digital, multitasking, and constantly connected. A must read for
teachers & parents!!!
Chapter 2 provides a historical review of TIMSS in Perspective, and
Chapter 9 provides a thorough comparison between TIMSS and PISA Mathematics in terms of goals and test items.
The question is addressed as to whether the lack of focus in current Mathematics Curriculum is a
symptom or cause, and provides thoughtful considerations related to curriculum.
Chapter 5 addresses the important issue of U.S. Algebra Performance in International Context.
This is a must read for math teachers and those revising mathematics curriculum.
A must for more complete understanding of International Testing!
This is a masterful overview addressing the understanding of cognitive
processing and its direct applicability to the most effective pedagogy.
divs on memory and basic skills are extremely thorough. The chapters on literacy acquisition, reading, mother-tongue instruction can
readily applied to teaching reading to underprivileged populations in any country and
instructional environment. Likewise there are very practical strategies for the teaching of
numeracy. Pragmatic recommendations relate to cognitive effects of time-on-task, lecturing,
seatwork, projects and non-instructional activities. Each chapter has policy implications and
indicates research needs. An extremely valuable methodology resource contributing to education for all!
This is a valuable, newly revised and updated edition of a powerful and practical bestseller!
Sousa’s work examines the ongoing research and developments in brain functioning. Pragmatic
research is presented in a clear, well-organized format, and each div is followed by a
Practitioner’s Corner providing a wealth of direct strategies that can be immediately transferred
to classroom practice.
This book is part of a series of several books on how the brain learns in Reading, Mathematics,
and special books addressing the brain research related to Special Needs, Gifted, ELL, Females,
and Leadership. These are outstanding resources for classroom application in improving student engagement!
The APPENDIX is extremely pragmatic in addressing key differences Between Teacher-Centered and
What Should be Learned/Emphasized
Specific V/S Integrated Content
Curriculum, Standards & Assessment
Attitudes , Discipline, Individual Differences
Optimum Level of Difficulty for Learning
Grading/Report Cards – Promotion
Textbooks & Other Teaching Materials
How Students Difficulties Are Treated
Teacher’s Educational Background
The author’s recommendation is for more traditional, teacher-centered instruction as a strategy
better suited to academic achievement that really works in the classroom. A thought-provoking,
well-supported contemporary viewpoint worth reviewing.
When we start to wonder and reflect on how “times have changed,” this book provides insight
into the current, approximate two decade period, of the Fourth Turning within the 80-100 year
repeating cycles of history. It traces back centuries, and provides historical evidence of the
cyclical nature of history, and helps to explain how our current global crisis is an evolving
winter in the Fourth Turning of the complete historical cycle that follows the seasonal rhythm of
growth, maturation, entropy, and destruction. Along with this historical interpretation, is the
tremendous insight of Generational Theory, which helps to explain the differences in the Boomer,
Generation-X, and Millennial generations that are currently parents who are raising and
influencing n entire new generation of children never before experienced in schools. This is
truly profound, “big picture” insight!!!