Saturday, March 17, 2012

Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA! – Guinevere Durham

Publisher:  Outskirts Press
Pages:  156
Source:  I received a copy from the author in exchange for a review
Genre:  Education

From the press kit:
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.  Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” (Chinese Proverb) By the same premise, teach children the facts and you prepare them for the test.  Teach them HOW TO LEARN the facts and you prepare them for a lifetime.  In this age of technology, the teacher’s role is no longer that of presenter, lecturer, or the authority on the material.  Today’s teacher is the mentor, guide, facilitator, and supporter.  The educator who teaches the facts isnow obsolete; now in place is the educator who teaches the student HOW TO LEARN THE FACTS.  Teaching methods include the five skills needd in order to LEARN HOW TO LEARN, culminating in being able to access, assess, analyze, and add up all the facts to form a conclusion.  This is accomplished through the many avenues of technology.  Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA! Identifies, explains, and illustrates the competencies needd for this process; Logic, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Investigating, and Experimenting.  The skills may be used either independently of or in collaboration with each other.  The learning style of the child, left-brained/right-brained and visual/auditory/kinesthetic modality, is also explained.  Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA! Is written for both educator and non-educator and provides material to use at home, in a classroom, or in the world.  Educator = everyone in the child’s circle who has a stake in teaching the child HOW TO LEARN for a lifetime.

My Thoughts:
I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read and review this book.  As a teacher I strongly believe every parent should be required to read this book.  It doesn’t matter if their child will be going into a public, private or homeschool situation.  This is valuable information that will give children and parents an edge
Most parents don’t know how their children learn.  They try to help them using their own learning style and then get upset when it doesn’t work for their child.  Another topic she discusses is strategies for learning.  Critical Thinking and Problem Solving skills are what children need today to be successful and the one area they struggle with the most.  The strategies and activities in the book are real life application tools.  They are things every parent can do.  It is time that parents become involved in educating their children.  With all of the learning styles and needs present in schools today it is impossible for teachers to do it all without the help of parents.  Parents don’t usually help because they feel inadequate to help. This book arms them to pick up that slack.  This book is going to be passed on to administration at my school because I feel it is important that they stay in-line with research and methods to help parents.

About the Author:
Dr. Guievere Durham writes “Five Skills Between Confusion and AHA!” from three perspectives, as a parent of six, a teacher and an administrator.  Earning a BS, MS, and Ed.D in education she spent thirty years confronting challenges and reaping blessings, retiring as an elementary principal.  She has been recognized for her teacher workshops and conference presentations in the fields of parenting, school improvement reading, and test-taking skills.  Other published writings include material for the reading textbooks and Sunday school curriculum, and two books, one of which, “Tteaching Test Taking Skills” was her doctoral practicum.  She was nationally acclaimed twice for listing in “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” and once for “Outstanding Administrator of the Year”.

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