Book Talk: Fires in the Mind, with Kathleen Cushman, Wednesday, 4/20, 4-5:30pm

Wednesday, 4/20, 4-5:30pm


The Gottesman Libraries sponsors book talks and lectures by faculty, students, staff, and others interested in sharing their work with the Teachers College community. Join us as we celebrate your achievements and promote social and intellectual discourse on key topics of relevance to the educating, psychological, and health professions.
  • Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery, with Kathleen Cushman, Wednesday, 4/20, 4-5:30pm Join us on Wednesday, April 20th when Kathleen Cushman, independent journalist, author, and editor, discusses her latest book with youth Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us About Motivation and Mastery (Jossey-Bass, 2010). Cushman's research connects young people's experiences and perspectives with the recent cognitive research on motivation, deliberate practice, and high performance. Drawing on the voices and images of students themselves, her mixed-media presentation sheds new light on what fuels their interests and effort and why they choose to engage and persist with challenging work. Starting with what youth already know and do well, Fires in the Mind provides thought-provoking materials that help youth and adults answer its central question, "What does it take to get really good at something?" On the blog of the same name, Cushman facilitates a national conversation that aims for a common language with which to discuss the development of mastery, in school and out. A journalist and educator for four decades, Cushman co-founded the nonprofit What Kids Can Do, which collaborates with diverse youth in the United States and abroad, bringing their voices to bear on the complex challenges that affect their lives and learning. She is also the author of the landmark publication, Fires in the Bathroom and co-author with Laura Rogers of Fires in the Middle School Bathroom, among many other books and publications. What Critics Are Saying: "'Become passionate' is easy to say, hard to do, impossible to compel. Drawing on the insights of young persons, parents, teachers, and experts, Kathleen Cushman reveals the paths to passionate pursuit of something worthwhile." --Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author, Five Minds for the Future; Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences; The Unschooled Mind "Anyone who cares about schooling or children should read this book." --Daniel T. Willingham, author of Why Don't Students Like School? "What a refreshing book" Rather than asking the timeworn question 'How can we motivate these kids?' Kathleen Cushman performs a lovely act of conceptual Jujutsu and instead asks 'What can the kids tell us about motivation?' The answers are smart and thoughtful and brimming with good advice." --Mike Rose, author of Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us "An immensely useful, insightful, and indispensable guide to tapping the immense potential in every child. Essential reading for teachers, coaches, and parents alike." --Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code "This book offers a unique window into what all educators ought to consider as vastly important: igniting the passion for learning inherent to us all." --Ronald J. Newell, author of Passion for Learning "No matter what stage we're at as educators, every teacher can mine this book for many helpful nuggets to support student mastery. We can help ignite 'fires in the minds' of our kids, and this wonderful book makes an excellent fire starter." --Kathie Marshall, in Teacher Leaders Network blog of the Center for Teaching Quality "This inspirational book provides very specific model questions that help us know what's on kids' minds and what they need. These clear examples of non-judgmental questions are extremely valuable in helping teachers build new ways of connecting with their students. The chapter on homework is a masterpiece." --Claire Wurtzel, the Churchill School "This is a wonderful book for both practitioners and policymakers to use in the making school more sensible, meaningful, and productive for students and their teachers." --Elliot Washor, co-director, Big Picture Learning For an extended review of Fires in the Mind, be sure to see Daniel Greene's piece in Education Review (February 25, 2011). This book talk is part of the month's venue on creativity, comprising library events and offerings in support of the Department of Arts and Humanities Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation Symposium on April 28th and 29th. Where: 305 Russell
  • The Garden Path: The Miseducation of a City, with Andre Perry, Monday, 4/4, 4-5:30pm
  • "...Education is not only the math lesson; it's the walk passing the blighted property to the museum. Education is the enactment of our housing policies. It's in the exchange with our servers at restaurants. Education is the kind hello from the bus driver. Education is exchanged between ex-convicts and their sons. Education is the school board meeting where diatribes are thrown like spears. So when you hear or ponder the question what's wrong with education, don't look reflexively towards public schools; also look at how we live our lives as a community" (Foreword, p.10, The Garden Path: The Miseducation of a City). Join us on Monday, April 4th for a reading and discussion of The Garden Path, The Miseducation of a City (UNO Press, February 2011) with Andre Perry. Dr. Perry uses creative non-fiction to tell the story of an idealistic professor, Dr. Isaac Boyd, who quickly rises to the forefront of the post-Katrina charter school movement--a movement deemed unsympathetic as it takes control of persistently failing schools from the hands of local community leaders. Tensions rise as out-of-town reformers and local community members compete for resources and authority. While adult battles reach a fever pitch, high school students Loren and Katura set their own paths to improve schooling for New Orleans. Andre Perry is Associate Dean of The University of New Orleans College of Education and Human Development and Chief Executive Officer of the Capital One-University of New Orleans Charter School Network and is responsible for guiding New Orleans students through a pre-kindergarten through high school educational network and providing access and placement in postsecondary institutions. His work and leadership in the schools is helping the University fulfill its mission of rebuilding neighborhoods ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry earned his Ph.D. in education policy and leadership, with an emphasis in higher education from the University of Maryland College Park. His research and teaching interests are college access and retention, charter schools and immigrant educational rights. Dr. Perry views, opinions, and educational leadership have been featured on National Public Radio, CNN, and The Louisiana Weekly. Andre Perry served on Mayor-Elect Mitch Landrieu's Transition Team as the co-chair of the Education Taskforce. He has received numerous awards, including Effective Leaders Fellow from Duke University's Center for Leadership and Public Value; St. Charles Avenue Magazine's 2008 Unsung Hero of the Year Award; New Orleans Magazine's "Person to Watch"; and in 2009, Perry Gambit Weekly's "40 under 40". Introducing Dr. Perry is Professor Henry Levin, William H Kilpatrick Professor of Economics and Education. For related information on the curriculum developed by Teachers College following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina be sure to see Teaching the Levees: A Resource to Support Democratic Dialogue and Civic Engagement. Where: 305 Russell
  • Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School, with Shamus Khan, Tuesday, 4/12, 4-5:30pm
  • How does St. Paul's in Concord, New Hampshire, one of the nation's most prestigious preparatory schools, contribute to the creation of a new elite in U.S. society? Long considered the exclusive domain of American's wealthiest sons, with a campus awash in a "sea of Mercedes" and shimmering with well-appointed jewelry, St Paul's is developing a new breed of student. Writes Shamus Khan, an alumnus who returned there to teach and coach during his graduate studies, "Whereas elites of the past were entitled - building their worlds around the 'right' breeding, connections, and culture --new elites develop privilege: a sense of self and a mode of interaction that advantage them." (Introduction, p.14, Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School ) Khan's recent ethnography, Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul's School (Princeton University Press, 2011) has received high praise: "Privilege is superb. Khan skillfully narrates from the perspective of both teacher and researcher, and the personal portraits are very well-rounded. This important book is a masterly look at a disturbing current in the formation of elite American society." --Richard Sennet, author of The Corrosion of Character "This is a terrific book. Khan's strong authorial voice and wonderful personality shine through and it is a pleasure to follow his life and travails at St. Paul's." --Michele Lamont, Harvard University Shamus Rahman Khan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. He has published numerous papers, essays, and book reviews, and his next major book will focus of New York elites. When not working, Shamus Khan cooks, plays the violin, travels around New York City, and reads novels. Joining our book talk is friend and colleague to Shamus Khan Dr. Aaron Pallas, Professor of Sociology and Education, Department of Human Development at Teachers College. Where: 305 Russell
  • Conversations with Great Teachers, with Bill Smoot, Monday, 4/18, 4-5:30pm
  • Inspired by the oral histories of Studs Terkel and the appreciation of great teachers in all walks of life, Bill Smoot was compelled to move above and beyond the classroom. He interviewed 51 master teachers -- among them, actor Martin Landau, Emil Jones and George Shultz, mentors to Barack Obama and Condoleeza Rice -- and recorded their insight and wisdom in his new book, Conversations with Great Teachers (Indiana University Press, 2010). From the joy of literature and basketball, through to the courage and determination of firemen and prisoners, Bill Smoot presents a fluid dialogue on the process of meaningful education -- what of significance passes between teacher and student -- and allows us to reflect on the aims, frustrations, and satisfactions of teaching today. Bill Smoot grew up in Maysville, Kentucky. He graduated from Purdue University where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Purdue Exponent. He received his PhD in philosophy from Northwestern University. Dr. Smoot currently teaches English at the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California, where he has received the Outstanding Teacher Award. For thirty years he has taught all levels of education, ranging from sixth grade to university. He received the Outstanding Faculty Award from Miami University and has served as a faculty member at Northwestern University and University of Hawaii-Hilo. Bill Smoot's short stories and essays have appeared in Georgia Review, Literary Review, Western Humanities Review, Crab Orchard Review, and the Nation. Writes Jay, Matthews, Washington Post education columnist and author of NY Times bestseller, Work Hard. Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created the Most Promising Schools in America, "I have spent most of my adult life talking to great teachers. Every one of those interviews has been a delight. Read this fine book and you can get the same thrill." This book talk is co-sponsored by the Klingenstein Center and Gottesman Libraries and is part of the month's venue on creativity, comprising library events and offerings in support of the Department of Arts and Humanities Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation Symposium on April 28th and 29th. For a recent interview with the author please see the Indiana University Press blog. Where: 305 Russell


Last Updated: 5:11 am, Friday, Mar 11 , 2011