The Teaching Brain: The Evolutionary Trait at the Heart of Education

Vanessa Rodriguez, with Michelle Fitzpatrick. New Press (Perseus, dist.), $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59558-996-5
Rodriguez, a 10-year veteran teacher from the New York City public school system, explains the evolution of the learning mind, and though she is not as successful in translating the consequences of this process for the use of teaching brain, she nonetheless provides a thoughtful analysis of current educational paradigms. Avoiding an academic tone, she presents scholarly findings that compare behavioral models of instruction, which posit that students learn best when treated as “empty vessels,” with more cognitive methods, which recognize learning as a dynamic process beginning at birth. Rodriguez uses ample evidence from her own teaching experience to buttress her assertion that teachers must incorporate students’ innate knowledge into the classroom to be effective. She argues that a greater degree of flexibility in educational policy is required for this type of teaching. Rodriguez’s case for altering pedagogy to match the fluctuating dynamic forces in the classroom is both convincing and steeped in common sense. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/08/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-62097-022-5
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