NurtureShock (Bronson & Merryman)

About 60 pages into this, I stopped and thought, ‘This should be required reading for expectant parents, parents, teachers, and, well, everyone.” If you accept the notion that education is largely about clearing up misconceptions (and I do, even in English), this is the book for you. Bronson and Merryman have done their homework and Bronson, who seems to be the lead writer, communicates it well most of the time. Some of the ideas about praise and failure are familiar. It’s time to figure out how to find room for failure. The insights about sleep (and the lack of it) are astounding. It makes me think that any high school that starts much before 9 is borderline criminally negligent. Chapters 3 (“Why White Parents Don’t Talk about Race”) and 9 (“Plays Well with Others”) should make you question much of what you thought you knew. Seriously, if I could, I’d stand outside of schools, day care centers, maternity wards, and just hand out free copies.

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