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Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery
     

Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery

by Kathleen Cushman, The students of What Kids Can Do
 

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Through the voices of students themselves, Fires in the Mind brings a game-changing question to teachers of adolescents: What does it take to get really good at something? Starting with what they already know and do well, teenagers from widely diverse backgrounds join a cutting-edge dialogue with adults about the development of mastery in and out of school.

Overview

Through the voices of students themselves, Fires in the Mind brings a game-changing question to teachers of adolescents: What does it take to get really good at something? Starting with what they already know and do well, teenagers from widely diverse backgrounds join a cutting-edge dialogue with adults about the development of mastery in and out of school. Their insights frame motivation, practice, and academic challenge in a new light that galvanizes more powerful learning for all. To put these students’ ideas into practice, the book also includes practical tips for educators, exercises, questionnaires, “do” and “don’t” lists, and other helpful tools.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Ann Crewdson
Mastery, motivation, and momentum are meaningless without the will to succeed. How do you plant the seeds of success in young adults so that they control their own future? Is the answer deliberate practice? Cognitive research shows that "express purpose, attention and focus, repetition and rehearsal" aimed toward individuals are effective. In this collaborative work, teachers and young adults brainstorm their teaching and learning styles. Practice, adult guidance, and public honor are all methods for actualizing education. An "Alternatives to Traditional Homework" diagram includes helpful tips, such as texting and e-mailing questions. The online component makes it easy for teachers and parents to download tools. Checklists, questionnaires, and worksheets give educators interested in reform multiple tactics to engage apathetic students. Short, paragraph-long anecdotes, though necessary with 160 students from the Practice Project, abridge individual stories. Because students' faces are featured at the end of the book, anonymity is not guaranteed. For fear of peer scrutiny, many may not disclose their entire journey. For educators, predicting spontaneous teachable moments is a difficult task. This is a valiant effort by Cushman, author of Fires in the Middle School Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from Middle Schoolers (New Press, 2009), who harnesses the components that foster motivation and mastery. As long as caring educators continue to make an effort to create innovative ways for educational reform, there is hope for our future generations. Reviewer: Ann Crewdson

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470646038
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,360,389
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Become passionate’ is easy to say, hard to do, impossible to compel. Drawing on the insights of young persons, parents, teachers, and experts, Kathleen Cushman reveals the paths to passionate pursuit of something worthwhile."
—Howard Gardner, professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author, Five Minds for the Future, Multiple Intelligences, and The Unschooled Mind

“No matter what stage we’re at as educators, every teacher can mine this book for many helpful nuggets to support student mastery. We can help ignite ‘fires in the minds’ of our kids, and this wonderful book makes an excellent fire starter.” —Kathie Marshall, LAUSD teacher, in Teacher Leaders Network blog of the Center for Teaching Quality

"In this remarkable book, Kathleen Cushman delves into the minds of young learners to provide us with an immensely useful, insightful, and indispensable guide to tapping the potential in every child. Essential reading for teachers, coaches, and parents alike."
—Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code

Meet the Author

Kathleen Cushman writes, speaks, and consults to a national audience of educators. A journalist and documentarian, she cofounded the nonprofit What Kids Can Do, which collaborates with diverse youth in the United States and abroad, bringing their voices to bear on the complex challenges that affect their lives and learning. She is also author of Fires in the Bathroom and coauthor, with Laura Rogers, of Fires in the Middle School Bathroom.

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