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After a long career in education – from teaching assistant to international consultant – I wrote this book to address my greatest concern from all my years of observing and assisting teachers. I saw so few instances of teachers, at every grade level, helping students to improve their thinking. Or to think more clearly, deeply, accurately, creatively, and critically. Or to challenge them intellectually. And I saw so many missed opportunities to do this easily and quickly within any given lesson.
Although I’m 90% retired and living in Spain, I am – like my countrymate, Don Quixote – still futilely aiming a lance (aka this book) at that immovable, impenetrable windmill called Education. I am still driven by the twin delusions that it can change and I can change it. But, as it turns out, I am now also taking aim at an even bigger windmill, under even grander delusions, only because it unexpectedly arose before me: The stupidity epidemic plaguing America!
I think we educators have to take some of the blame for this. Maybe a lot of the blame. Too often we confuse decoding with reading. We focus more on getting our students to know the right answer than on getting them to ask the right questions. Product is important, not process. Understanding has taken a backseat to accomplishing.
So let the change start now. Our children’s futures depend on it.
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