BOOKNEWS, ETC. -- RECOMMENDED FOR SPRING & SUMMER READING
Seven Ways of Knowing: Teaching for Multiple Intelligences (2nd Edition) by David Lazear. Skylight Publishing: Palatine, IL, 1991.
Seven Ways of Teaching: The Artistry of Teaching with Multiple Intelligences by David Lazear. Skylight Publishing: Palatine, IL, 1991.
The first book presents numerous examples of the application of Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences to teaching and expanding children's learning abilities. Detailed lessons are discussed in each ability area -- Verbal/Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Body/Kinesthetic, Musical/Rhythmic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal intelligence. The author has designed these lessons to correspond to four stages of learning -- Awakening, Amplifying, Teaching For/With, and Transferring intelligence. In the Foreword, Gardner states that the lessons demonstrate two important ideas for viewing intelligence, contextualization ("...we must conceive of intelligence in terms of the particular social and cultural context in which an individual lives.") and distribution ("...a significant part of an individual's intelligence exists outside his or her head, inhering in the human and material resources that he or she has [or can make] available."). This fine book includes a research appendix showing how the different areas of intelligence are supported by various research studies and the work of different individuals and organizations. The second book, Seven Ways of Teaching, is an extension of the first; it contains many detailed lessons for the elementary, intermediate and high school levels. Lazear presents his ideas in a very organized format called a "Lesson Palette" which uses artistic icons to relate similar lessons to each area of intelligence. We highly recommend both of these books to individuals who want to apply Gardner's work to the gifted classroom. We strongly support Lazear's applications!
The Mind's Sky: Human Intelligence in a Cosmic Context by Timothy Ferris. Bantam, 1992.
Ferris has written a speculative tour de force concerning how the human brain works and its relationship to the physical universe. He is a highly regarded science journalist whose discussions range all over the intellectual map from whether there is intelligent life in outer space to what are the mental programs in the brain which determine consciousness, to arguing that the motor intelligence of great athletes (such as Joe Montana, the San Francisco 49ers'quarterback) is on the same level as the reasoning intelligence of great thinkers, to his ideas on the mental causes of humor. Ferris has previously written an excellent book on the history of astronomy entitled, Coming of Age in the Milky Way (1988). In his current work, he argues that our minds and the universe are closely interrelated. We particularly enjoyed his ruminations on the technology necessary for communicating with life in outer space, including his detailed descriptions of automated "space libraries." Is there intelligent life out there? See if you agree with this author's answers. This book will stir the imaginations of teachers of the gifted and students with a particular bent in the sciences or philosophy.
Gifted Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers by Virginia Z. Ehrlich. Trillium Press, 1989.
What is so impressive about this book is the clarity and conciseness by which Ehrlich discusses important topics in the gifted field. Her long experience in preschool and primary programs for the gifted is reflected throughout insightful chapters on identification, trials and tribulations of being gifted, schooling -- when, where and why, parents' and teachers' roles, and careers for the gifted and talented. Ehrlich's discussions are concerned with such topics as why parents are better at identifying young gifted children than teachers; and characteristics of giftedness that may lead to problems, e.g., versatility of interests, impatience with detail, dyssynchrony in development, love of truth, social aloofness, and boredom. We were most impressed with her chapters on schooling the gifted based upon her many years of educating the gifted and conducting applied research. This book was originally published in the early 1980s, but it has much to say about gifted children in today's world and it clearly demonstrates the need for grouping the gifted into differentiated programs.
Dr. Win Wenger of Gaithersburg, Maryland has been writing for the last two decades about methods for stimulating higher levels of thinking and creativity. Through these writings, he has argued that the human mind must be stimulated by various types of verbal-perceptual exercises which help to integrate important areas of the brain. He has written many books including descriptions of the type of the training he recommends for both children and adults. These books are available from his press (Project Renaissance) and through his workshops. Contact him at the following address: Dr. Win Winger, Director; Project Renaissance - The Institute of Visual Thinking; P.O. Box 332; Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332; Telephone Number - 301-948-1122. Two of his training books that can be purchased through Gifted Education Press are: (1) How To Increase Gifted Students' Creative Thinking and Imagination; and (2) Creative Ways To Improve Reading and Language Skills in Gifted Students.
By Michael E. Walters
"There is no escaping the fact that want of sympathy condemns us to a corresponding stupidity." George Eliot
It is especially necessary for gifted students to have role models because these models not only serve as intellectual exemplars, but are also guides for their affective life. The 19th century English female writer, George Eliot (1819-1880), is one of these role models. George Eliot is a pseudonym for Mary Ann Evans who was considered in her lifetime a major writer and social commentator. Her reputation was remarkable for her time and place on two levels: (1) women were not well accepted by the literary establishment of this age; and (2) she did not attend either of the elite English institutions of higher learning, Oxford or Cambridge.
Despite these social and professional limitations, George Eliot achieved a high status as one of the leading intellectual spokespersons of the Victorian age. She was the managing editor of Westminster Review, a leading intellectual journal of 19th century England. She received this position as the result of her ability to translate foreign languages into English and to make significant commentaries on these translations. Eliot was expert in German and specialized in translating German philosophers. She also achieved an important translation of Spinoza's Ethics.
George Eliot's literary works combine the poetry of natural settings and humanistic insights with the foibles and travails of the human condition. She deliberately sought to expose English readers (through her writings) to social groups they would not normally encounter. These were urban workers, agricultural workers and craftspeople, and ethnic and religious minorities. She also focused on women's lives. Eliot was a true multiculturalist.
Recommended Readings: Books by George Eliot (currently available in paperback) -- Adam Bede, 1859; The Mill and the Floss, 1860; Silas Marner, 1861; Romola, 1863; Felix Holt, The Radical, 1866; Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, 1872; Daniel Deronda, 1876; Impressions of Theophrastus Such, 1879. Biographies -- Gordon H. Haight. George Eliot: A Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968; Jennifer Uglow. George Eliot. New York: Virago Press, 1987.
"The greatest benefit we owe to the artist, whether painter, poet or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies." G. Eliot
"There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors who have no aim beyond facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare, reason, generalize, using the labor of fact collectors as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict -- their best illumination comes from above the skylight." Oliver Wendell Holmes (Quoted in David Lazear's books as the motto of Skylight Publishing.)