Endangered Minds: Why Children Dont Think And What We Can Do About I

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Is today's fast-paced media culture creating a toxic environment for our children's brains?

In this landmark, bestselling assessment tracing the roots of America's escalating crisis in education, Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., examines how television, video games, and other components of popular culture compromise our children's ability to concentrate and to absorb and analyze information. Drawing on neuropsychological research and an analysis of current educational practices, Healy presents in clear, understandable language:

-- How growing brains are physically shaped by experience

-- Why television programs -- even supposedly educational shows like Sesame Street -- develop "habits of mind" that place children at a disadvantage in school

-- Why increasing numbers of children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder

-- How parents and teachers can make a critical difference by making children good learners from the day they are born
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About the author

Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. is a teacher and educational psychologist who has worked with young people of all ages, from pre-school to graduate school. She has been a classroom teacher, reading and learning specialist, school administrator, and clinician. She is currently a lecturer and consultant, and the author of three books about how children do (and don’t) learn, Your Child’s Growing Mind, Endangered Minds, and Failure to Connect. She and her work have been featured in national media such as CNN and NPR. She has twice been named “Educator of the Year” by Delta Kappa Gamma, the professional honor society of women educators. Jane and her husband claim they have learned most of what they know from raising three sons and enjoying six grandchildren.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 19, 2011
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Pages
392
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ISBN
9781439126707
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Administration / Elementary & Secondary
Family & Relationships / Education
Psychology / Developmental / Child
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"My child is having trouble in school.

What should I do?"

When parents are told that their child is having difficulty in school, they often don’t know where to turn for reliable information and advice. They may be confused by conflicting claims of "cures" or may mistakenly think that, because some learning problems are genetically based, they can do nothing to help. Even the terminology of learning disorders is confusing: dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, NVLD, executive function disorder—what are all these conditions, how do they differ from one another and, most important, what practical steps should parents and teachers take to remedy the situation?

This comprehensive, practical guide to children’s learning problems should be the first resource parents and teachers reach for when a child shows signs of difficulty in academic, social, or behavioral learning. Drawing on her decades of experience, educator Jane Healy offers understandable explanations of the various types of learning disorders. She distills the latest scientific research on brains, genes, and learning as she explains how to identify problems—even before they are diagnosed—and how to take appropriate remedial action at home, at school, and in the community.

Today’s fast-paced, stressed-out culture is hazardous to growing minds, says Healy, and a growing "epidemic" of children’s disorders is the result. Different Learners offers a complete program not only for treating the child, but also for making more beneficial lifestyle choices at home and improving teaching techniques at school. It shows parents and caregivers how to prevent some learning difficulties from ever happening in the first place. It explains how to have your child evaluated if necessary, and, if a problem is found, how to evaluate various treatments. Different Learners explains how medications for attention and learning work in the brain and why they should not be the first step in most treatment programs. It shows how schools can actually worsen a child’s learning difficulties and how to make sure this doesn’t happen to your child. It even offers a program for "brain-cleaning" that will help any child perform better in school.

Jane Healy draws on stories of real children to offer sympathetic as well as practical advice for children—and parents—who are struggling in an overstressed environment. She provides reassurance that parents and teachers can have dramatically positive effects on every child’s ability to learn.
From a distinguished clinician, pioneer in working with behaviorally challenging kids, and author of the acclaimed The Explosive Child comes a groundbreaking approach for understanding and helping these kids and transforming school discipline.

Frequent visits to the principal's office. Detentions. Suspensions. Expulsions. These are the established tools of school discipline for kids who don't abide by school rules, have a hard time getting along with other kids, don't seem to respect authority, don't seem interested in learning, and are disrupting the learning of their classmates. But there's a big problem with these strategies: They are ineffective for most of the students to whom they are applied.

It's time for a change in course.

Here, Dr. Ross W. Greene presents an enlightened, clear-cut, and practical alternative. Relying on research from the neurosciences, Dr. Greene offers a new conceptual framework for understanding the difficulties of kids with behavioral challenges and explains why traditional discipline isn't effective at addressing these difficulties. Emphasizing the revolutionarily simple and positive notion that kids do well if they can, he persuasively argues that kids with behavioral challenges are not attention-seeking, manipulative, limit-testing, coercive, or unmotivated, but that they lack the skills to behave adaptively. And when adults recognize the true factors underlying difficult behavior and teach kids the skills in increments they can handle, the results are astounding: The kids overcome their obstacles; the frustration of teachers, parents, and classmates diminishes; and the well-being and learning of all students are enhanced.

In Lost at School, Dr. Greene describes how his road-tested, evidence-based approach -- called Collaborative Problem Solving -- can help challenging kids at school.

His lively, compelling narrative includes:

• tools to identify the triggers and lagging skills underlying challenging behavior.

• explicit guidance on how to radically improve interactions with challenging kids -- along with many examples showing how it's done.

• dialogues, Q & A's, and the story, which runs through the book, of one child and his teachers, parents, and school.

• practical guidance for successful planning and collaboration among teachers, parents, administrations, and kids.

Backed by years of experience and research, and written with a powerful sense of hope and achievable change, Lost at School gives teachers and parents the realistic strategies and information to impact the classroom experience of every challenging kid.
In this comprehensive, practical, and unsettling look at computers in children's lives, Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., questions whether computers are really helping or harming children's development. Once a bedazzled enthusiast of educational computing but now a troubled skeptic, Dr. Healy examines the advantages and drawbacks of computer use for kids at home and school, exploring its effects on children's health, creativity, brain development, and social and emotional growth.
Today, the Federal Government allocates scarce educational funding to wire every classroom to the Internet, software companies churn out "educational" computer programs even for preschoolers, and school administrators cut funding and space for books, the arts, and physical education to make room for new computer hardware. It is past the time to address these issues. Many parents and even some educators have been sold on the idea that computer literacy is as important as reading and math. Those who haven't hopped on the techno bandwagon are left wondering whether they are shortchanging their children's education or their students' futures. Few people stop to consider that computers, used incorrectly, may do far more harm than good.
New technologies can be valuable educational tools when used in age-appropriate ways by properly trained teachers. But too often schools budget insufficiently for teacher training and technical support. Likewise, studies suggest that few parents know how to properly assist children's computer learning; much computer time at home may be wasted time, drawing children away from other developmentally important activities such as reading, hobbies, or creative play. Moreover, Dr. Healy finds that much so-called learning software is more "edutainment" than educational, teaching students more about impulsively pointing and clicking for some trivial goal than about how to think, to communicate, to imagine, or to solve problems. Some software, used without careful supervision, may also have the potential to interrupt a child's internal motivation to learn.
Failure to Connect is the first book to link children's technology use to important new findings about stages of child development and brain maturation, which are clearly explained throughout. It illustrates, through dozens of concrete examples and guidelines, how computers can be used successfully with children of different age groups as supplements to classroom curricula, as research tools, or in family projects. Dr. Healy issues strong warnings, however, against too early computer use, recommending little or no exposure before age seven, when the brain is primed to take on more abstract challenges. She also lists resources for reliable reviews of child-oriented software, suggests questions parents should ask when their children are using computers in school, and discusses when and how to manage computer use at home. Finally, she offers a thoughtful look at the question of which skills today's children will really need for success in a technological future -- and how they may best acquire them.
Based on years of research into learning and hundreds of hours of interviews and observations with school administrators, teachers, parents, and students, Failure to Connect is a timely and eye-opening examination of the central questions we must confront as technology increasingly influences the way we educate our children.
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