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Parents, teachers, and child psychologists will find a wealth of insight concerning such diverse subjects as the nature of play, the causes of ADHD, computers as teachers, and the power that love and imagination will have in the education of the Millennial Child.
Posted April 11, 2000
This book is essential reading for anyone seriously interested in understanding the crisis in education today and what to do about it. However, the book requires an open mind because the educational philosophy presented runs counter to the mindset controlling today's school systems and the proposals dominating the political races. Schwartz sees that the path to educational reform is not to teach to fulfill centralized testing requirements but to recognize that children need something far more comprehensive. Schwartz's thesis is based on the pedagogy of Rudolf Steiner which is relatively unknown or misunderstood in the United States today. This educational philosophy is based on a very deep understanding of childhood development and the appropriate curriculum and methods for each stage. There has been very little study of his 'Waldorf' method on the university or teaching-college level in spite of the rapid growth of Waldorf and Steiner-inspired schools in North America. The book is part anecdotal and part scholarly so as to be able to describe better the 'education as art' method suggested. Nothing than this is needed to prepare our children for the future in this increasingly technological age.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2000
This is a brilliant book that provides an answer to our pressing educational crisis. Anyone who has been teaching for ten years or more recognizes two things: that standardized tests are putting more pressure on kids, teachers, and parents; and that the kids coming into classrooms these days are different than they used to be. There are more and more books being written today about how to deal with 'the spirited child'. Schwartz, a teacher for 24 years, contends that the children coming into classrooms today (the millennial child) emphasize the will, more than thinking or feeling. At the heart of our crisis is our failure to recognize the differences between thinking, feeling and willing. And that our stress on intellectual development, depriving children of their childhood, actually does more harm than good in the logn run. He proposes a new curriculum based on doing, rather than passively absorbing intellectual material at an early age. The children play, do handwork, and listen to stories when young, and then move through a cogent and age-appropriate curriculum as they grow older, nurturing each level of development before passing on to the next. This is a kind of organic education, based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner, who developed the Waldorf stystem of education, among among many other things. Every page lights up with insight after insight. But these are not merely theoretical. Schwartz backs up his insights with dozens of practical examples taken from his long experience as a Waldorf teacher. This book could be for education what 'The Silent Spring' was for the environment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.