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Reviewed by Alysia George
As the mother of four very unique and distinctive children, I’m extremely conscious of their individual strengths and needs in various contexts, including education. I’m not a teacher or an educational expert, but it makes intuitive sense to me that all children learn differently, and regardless of their intellectual abilities, many might not perform optimally using the methods of most American schools. Simply put, kids have different learning styles, but for many American children, these learning styles are not recognized. All too often, there is one way and one way only; anyone who doesn’t fall into line is left behind to struggle.
Square Peg, by L. Todd Rose (with Katherine Ellison), is part memoir and part exploration of how to change the American education system for the better. If anyone is qualified to offer advice on the subject, it’s Rose, who flunked out of high school, yet went on to earn a graduate degree from Harvard, and then to become a professor at the prestigious university. The book’s subtitle is “ My story and what it means for raising innovators, visionaries, and out-of-the-box thinkers.” That’s a mouthful, but it says a lot about what’s in store for readers.
Rose discusses how the education system let him down, as a way of demonstrating its shortcomings for scores of other young people. He describes what went wrong, what went right, and provides insightful suggestions for improvement. Furthermore, he discusses research and technological advances that are currently in the works, which will hopefully have a positive impact on education.
I found this book to be quite interesting, if a bit dryly scientific at times. Being a parent, I feel it’s important to keep abreast of educational research and issues, and to always try to remain cognizant that not all children are the same, which naturally extends to the classroom. Square Peg offers an inside view from someone who studies education at a scholarly level and who speaks from personal experience.
Alysia lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and four children. She writes about family life, parenting issues, and other things of interest to her on her blog, Michigal.
Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Hyperion. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.