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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Praise for Fires in the Mind

"What a refreshing book! Rather than asking the timeworn question 'How can we motivate these kids?' Kathleen Cushman performs a lovely act of conceptual jujutsu and instead asks 'What can the kids tell us about motivation?' The answers are smart and thoughtful and brimming with good advice." —Mike Rose, author, Why School?

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Overview

Praise for Fires in the Mind

"What a refreshing book! Rather than asking the timeworn question 'How can we motivate these kids?' Kathleen Cushman performs a lovely act of conceptual jujutsu and instead asks 'What can the kids tell us about motivation?' The answers are smart and thoughtful and brimming with good advice." —Mike Rose, author, Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us

"The best school reform creates schools that kids want to go to, where learning is meaningful and engaging. This wonderful book builds on the concept that education should be 'asset based,' not based on telling kids what they don't know and can't do. Read Fires in the Mind and connect to the voices of students about how they learn most eagerly." —Paul Houston, executive director emeritus, American Association of School Administrators

"'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, Harvard Graduate School of Education; author, Five Minds for the Future, Multiple Intelligences, and The Unschooled Mind

"An immensely useful, insightful, and indispensable guide to tapping the immense potential in every child. Essential reading for teachers, coaches, and parents alike." —Daniel Coyle, author, The Talent Code

"Every educator would like for students to develop a passion, but many are unsure of how to light that fire. Kathleen Cushman had the wisdom to ask students, and they tell us with clarity what motivates them and how school might be made more inspiring. Anyone who cares about schooling or children should read this book." —Daniel T. Willingham, author, Why Don't Students Like School?

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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:
9781118160213
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
02/21/2012
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
252,858
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)

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

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