"I submit that the well-told, well-chosen story can tell the most about the qualitative status of both teaching and learning in the classroom." So says Donald Graves, author of this unique new book and one of the field's best-loved and most respected authorities on literacy education.
Now, in this eclectic collection of personal stories, Graves recalls with power and clarity the many events-great and small-that have informed his views on how we come to understand the world. In an age when teachers are under constant pressure to find the right pedagogical "method" and when the measure of success is often reduced to a test score, How to Catch a Shark will be both a comfort and an inspiration.
Here is a beguiling and thoughtful anthology of autobiographical tales, based on both personal and professional experiences. There are recalled moments of childhood wonder; anecdotes about remarkable and not-so-remarkable students; lessons from the pulpit as well as the ballfield; stories of painful loss, hilarious mishaps, and awesome epiphanies. Each one teaches as it reveals the nature of human learning. Graves' point is clear: the best way to understand effective, responsive teaching is to examine our own learning histories. He invites readers to do the same in a reflection and practical exercise at the end of each story.
Sit down with Donald Graves' book. Listen to his tales. Resonate with the truth of your own experiences. And in so doing, you will discover myriad ways to help students access the powers of their own stories.
To learn more about Donald Graves, visit www.donaldgraves.org.