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Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers

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Overview

In the seventh grade, Todd Rose was suspended-not for the first time-for throwing six stink bombs at the blackboard, where his art teacher stood with his back to the class. At eighteen, he was a high school dropout, stocking shelves at a department store for $4.25 an hour. Today, Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Square Peg illuminates the struggles of millions of bright young children—and their frustrated parents and teachers—who are stuck in...

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Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers

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Overview

In the seventh grade, Todd Rose was suspended-not for the first time-for throwing six stink bombs at the blackboard, where his art teacher stood with his back to the class. At eighteen, he was a high school dropout, stocking shelves at a department store for $4.25 an hour. Today, Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Square Peg illuminates the struggles of millions of bright young children—and their frustrated parents and teachers—who are stuck in a one-size-fits-all school system that fails to approach the student as an individual. Rose shares his own incredible journey from troubled childhood to Harvard, seamlessly integrating cutting-edge research in neuroscience and psychology along with advances in the field of education, to ultimately provide a roadmap for parents and teachers of kids who are the casualties of America's antiquated school system.

With a distinguished blend of humor, humility, and practical advice for nurturing children who are a poor fit in conventional schools, Square Peg is a game-changing manifesto that provides groundbreaking insight into how we can get the most out of all the students in our classrooms, and why today's dropouts could be tomorrow's innovators.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This approachable, inspiring tale serves as both a memoir of a troubled childhood and a road map for helping children of all “variabilities” through the American educational system. Writing with Ellison (Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention), Rose shares his unlikely trajectory from childhood delinquent of “diabolical naughtiness” through high school dropout to Harvard professor at the Graduate School of Education. He provides compelling anecdotal evidence for how our public schools are failing our kids, as well as a framework for what educators and parents could be doing better. Each chapter concludes with a “Big Idea” section as summary and a list of “Action Items” for parents. Rose presents behavior as something that “emerges from the interaction of a person’s biology, past experiences, and immediate context,” arguing that within this understanding of complex systems, there’s hope for all. Readers will find Rose’s journey heartening; Rose’s mother and grandmother show how essential parents and mentors can be for struggling children. But this story serves as more than just a beacon of hope, as Rose also leaves his readers armed with real “strategies and tools,” such as using technology, readdressing labels such as ADHD, “rethinking Ritalin,” finding mentors, understanding metacognition and variability, and the “potentially transformative power of context.” (Feb.)
Charles Fadel
"A mind is (indeed) a terrible thing to waste! This up-close-and-personal account will resonate viscerally with countless parents and youngsters, and provide them with renewed hope and practical guidance."
Martha Minow
"A compelling story about Todd Rose's journey from boy trouble-maker to highly successful scholar and teacher, "Square Peg" also offer engaging and memorable research findings about what can help individuals with attention deficits and attendant emotional and social challenges. Parents, teachers, and kids will find here both a powerful story and specific steps to improve so many lives and life chances."
Dr. Chris Howard
"Located along the same continuum as Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, David Brooks' The Social Animal, and Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore, Todd Rose's book, Square Peg, manages to weave a deeply personal and often unsettling narrative into a work that captures the complexity of human development while celebrating the triumphs of parents who allow their all too often misunderstood children to grow up to be exceptional adults. It is a must read for anyone seeking to better understand how nature, nurture, timing and chance influence who we ultimately become."
Larry Rosenstock
"In Square Peg, Todd Rose takes the reader along on his hard journey in the education system; one that is bumpy, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, and always insightful. He reflects on himself as a student and on the school system, in general, with a sharp eye and a sharp pen."
David Finch
"Todd Rose's journey from high-school dropout to Harvard professor is a welcome success story--one that leaves me rooting for square pegs everywhere."
Molly Ringwald
"On any given morning, thousands of American children dread going to school out of fear of bullying and boredom. With its poignant stories, wise insights, and helpful tips, Square Peg points the way to a kinder, better future."
From the Publisher

"A mind is (indeed) a terrible thing to waste! This up-close-and-personal account will resonate viscerally with countless parents and youngsters, and provide them with renewed hope and practical guidance."—Charles Fadel, author of 21st Century Skills and Founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign

"A compelling story about Todd Rose's journey from boy trouble-maker to highly successful scholar and teacher, "Square Peg" also offer engaging and memorable research findings about what can help individuals with attention deficits and attendant emotional and social challenges. Parents, teachers, and kids will find here both a powerful story and specific steps to improve so many lives and life chances."—Martha Minow, author of Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law

"Located along the same continuum as Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, David Brooks' The Social Animal, and Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore, Todd Rose's book, Square Peg, manages to weave a deeply personal and often unsettling narrative into a work that captures the complexity of human development while celebrating the triumphs of parents who allow their all too often misunderstood children to grow up to be exceptional adults. It is a must read for anyone seeking to better understand how nature, nurture, timing and chance influence who we ultimately become."—Dr. Chris Howard, President of Hampden-Sydney College

"In Square Peg, Todd Rose takes the reader along on his hard journey in the education system; one that is bumpy, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, and always insightful. He reflects on himself as a student and on the school system, in general, with a sharp eye and a sharp pen."—Larry Rosenstock, CEO and co-founder of High Tech High

"Todd Rose's journey from high-school dropout to Harvard professor is a welcome success story—one that leaves me rooting for square pegs everywhere."—David Finch, New York Times bestselling author of The Journal of Best Practices

"On any given morning, thousands of American children dread going to school out of fear of bullying and boredom. With its poignant stories, wise insights, and helpful tips, Square Peg points the way to a kinder, better future."—Molly Ringwald

Kirkus Reviews
A "memoir and a manifesto" by the co-chair of the Harvard Graduate School Institute Connecting Mind, Brain and Education, who references his own experiences as a high school dropout to make the case for a much-needed learning revolution. Assisted by Ellison (Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, 2010, etc.), Rose describes how he was labeled as an incorrigible troublemaker by the age of 13, when he detonated stink bombs in class. Even as a preschooler he was a problem child, bullying his younger siblings. The author explores his boredom, distraction and difficulty concentrating on schoolwork. His impulsive, destructive behavior alienated his peers as well as school authorities. A diagnosis of ADHD and the prescription of Ritalin (which he refused to take regularly) did little to solve his problem. Rose writes that he was caught in a negative feedback loop, failing in school and bullied by other children. While he traces his problems to underlying neurological problems--a poor short-term memory exacerbated by stress and differences in how his brain processed dopamine--the school system in his community failed to deal with his special needs. Only when his parents moved to another town was he able to begin the difficult process of getting his life on the track to an academic career in the application of advances in biological and cognitive sciences to education. Fundamentally, these are based on using modern technology to allow students to individualize their learning experience with the guidance of their teacher. For example, dyslexic students can use learning aids such as text-to-speech programs (with headphones), and those with problems following complicated instructions can get step-by-step reminders. An inspiring personal story, but unfortunately, the author relegates his pioneering new methods to a short epilogue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401324278
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 349,709
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, international lecturer, and leading thinker in the field of Educational Neuroscience. Today, Todd works at the forefront of innovation in learning science and education, contributing new insights about learning variability, and helping to design new educational technologies flexible enough to support all students in reaching their full potential.

Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, who has written three books on neuroscience and learning differences, most recently including Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, as well as related articles for media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic magazine.

Together, Rose and Ellison bring you the story of Todd Rose's extraordinary comeback from a teenaged high-school dropout with a pregnant wife and job stocking shelves in a department store to one of America's foremost young experts on education, learning differences, and creativity. Square Peg also educates parents, teachers, and other interested readers about the fast-paced recent changes taking place in U.S. classrooms, relating why the technology-enabled classrooms of the future may soon be more engaging, innovative, and accessible than ever before.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Storm Chaser, FlameMagic, Silver Apples and NightStar

    Name: Storm Chaser <br> Species: Pegasus <br> Gender: Stallion <br> Coat: Dark grey, almost black. <br> Mane and Tail: Yellow, Soarin style. <br> Eyes: Yellow, Big Mac style. <br> Cutie Mark: Like RD but the cloud is grey and the lightning is yellow. <p> Name: FlameMagic <br> Species: Unicorn <br> Gender: Stallion <br> Coat: Burnt orange. <br> Mane and Tail: Burnt red, Doctor Whooves style. <br> Eyes: Yellow, Big Mac style. <br> Cutie Mark: A golden compass with flaming wings. <p> Name: Silver Apples <br> Species: Earth pony. <br> Gender: Mare <br> Coat: White <br> Mane and Tail: Scarlet, Scootaloo style <br> Eyes: Green, Apple Bloom style. <br> Cutie Mark: None yet. <p> Name: NightStar <br> Species: Pegasus <br> Gender: Mare <br> Coat: Colbalt blue. <br> Mane and Tail: Black, Fluttershy style. <br> Eyes: Blue, Twilight Sparkle style. <br> Cutie Mark: An eccentric optical illusion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Discord/George/Doctor Whooves/Discord Whooves/Derpy

    Discord:We all know what he looks like.George:Mane and tail color-Green.Coat color-Light Brown.Eye Style-Big MacIntoshes eye style.Species-Unicorn Pegasus and Earthpony.Gender-Colt.Eye Color-Blue like water.Brief History-Was a bonsai tree before he became a pony who could change his species from a unicorn to a pegasus to an earthpony.He prefers to be an earthpony.Doctor Whooves:Mane and Tail color-A dark brown.Coat-a lighter brown than the hair.Eye style-Big MacIntosh eye style.Species-Earthpony or Pegasus if you go by Discord Whoives the comic.Gender-Colt.Eye Color-a deep blue.Brief History-Is a timelord.He travels through time and space and came from the planet of Gallopfrey.He has been in Equestria and travels with his companion Derpy Hooves.Derpy Hooves:Mane and Tail color-Light Blonde.Coat-A Greyish Blue.Eye Style-Rainbow Dashes.Species-Pegasus.Gender-Mare.Eye Color-Gold.Brief History:Is a mother of two ponies;Ditsy and Dinky.Doctor Whooves is the father of both.Dinky has the mind of a Timelord.Derpy is crossed eyed and acts stupid.Discord Whooves:Mane and Taile color-A dark Grey.Coat Color- light grey that isnt much darker than the mane.Eye style-Same as Big MacIntosh.Species-Pegasus.Gender-Colt.Eye Color-Neon Blue.Brief History-Discord Whooves basically Doctor Whooves just corrupted.Discord Whooves was created by Discord.Doctor Whooves changes between Discord Whooves and his normal self.Discord Whooves is a pony who is a real jerk.Discord,George,Doctor/Discord Whooves and Derpy all live together with their pets.Pets-Kirby is a pink dragon.Angel is basically Fluttershys pet.Angel is a rabbit.Tank the tutle is Rainbows pet.And Gummy is basically Pinkies pet.

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