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Awakening Genius in the Classroom Paperback – July 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0871203021 ISBN-10: 0871203022

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 81 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871203022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871203021
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've been a writer and speaker for twenty-five years, focusing on the diversity of ways in which people learn and grow. I like to read (my favorite writer is Jorge Luis Borges), paint, meditate (I do mindfulness meditation), and play Scrabble (even though my wife usually beats me). I'm particularly excited about my new book (out in December 2012) Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Achieve Success in School and Life It suggests that we think about brain diversity in the same way we think about biodiversity and cultural diversity. I used to work as a learning disability specialist and was disheartened by the negative labels we throw at children. I believe we need to honor and celebrate the uniqueness of each learner. My book Neurodiversity in the Classroom focuses on the strengths and abilities of students with mental health labels, including autism, dyslexia, ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and intellectual disabilities. It suggests seven practical steps that educators can take to enrich the school experiences of these kids. I hope that you buy Neurodiversity in the Classroom, and tell other people about it!

Customer Reviews

This book helped me to notice some of the ways students are speaking to me through their genius.
Carrie Carpenter
Instead, Mr. Armstrong has given us a derivative and vague book that does little to help those of us in education other than offer general criticisms and platitudes.
Timothy Haugh
Very few authors, painters, sculptors, musicians, and creative thinkers in any other areas often declared "linear" are in the genius category.
Ms. Sing

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Thomas Armstrong asserts in his book, "Awakenking Genius in the Classroom," that every child is a "genius." He uses the term "genius" to mean "giving birth to ones joy" rather than the common use of the word (somenone with an exceptionally high IQ). Dr. Armstrong seeks to open educator's eyes to the possibilities and potentials that lie within each child. Although his book can be redundant in parts, he does manage to validate all children as special and to give teachers a new framework with which to view their students. I found the book to be informative and inspirational. It reaffirms why most of us began teaching - to ignite the spark within children which will help them to develop a lifelong love of learning.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be incredibly disappointing. I was hoping for something powerful and inspiring that would give ideas for creating a really dynamic classroom. Instead, Mr. Armstrong has given us a derivative and vague book that does little to help those of us in education other than offer general criticisms and platitudes.

Modeled on Gardener's multiple intelligences (which Armstrong acknowledges), Awakening Genius offers us twelve types of "genius" that every child has. Things like playfulness, creativity, joy, etc. This is not to downplay the importance of these qualities; however, Armstrong's use of the word "genius" is misleading and, though he again acknowledges this and tries to define his own meaning of the term, his attempt in disingenuous. He is also extremely vague in answering questions like "why twelve?" "why these twelve?" and "what are some specific strategies to bring these to life in a classroom?" Instead, we have generalizations and activities with little definite direction.

Fortunately, this book is only seventy pages long or I never would have finished it. Those people who find motivation is generalizations and good cop/bad cop prose might find something worthwhile in here. I found very little but frustration.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Thomas Armstrong asserts in his book, "Awakenking Genius in the Classroom," that every child is a "genius." He uses the term "genius" to mean "giving birth to ones joy" rather than the common use of the word (somenone with an exceptionally high IQ). Dr. Armstrong seeks to open educator's eyes to the possibilities and potentials that lie within each child. Although his book can be redundant in parts, he does manage to validate all children as special and to give teachers a new framework with which to view their students. I found the book to be informative and inspirational. It reaffirms why most of us began teaching - to ignite the spark within children which will help them to develop a lifelong love of learning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carrie Carpenter on April 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book so much I sent it to a former student teacher. Sometimes we need to look at students and realize what they bring to the classroom on an individual basis. This book helped me to notice some of the ways students are speaking to me through their genius. It allows room for teachers to look beyond the formal assessments and help students succeed in a different way.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Garreth Heidt on April 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book every August before I start school, and I've been reading it every year since I first picked it up almost 10 years ago. I'll agree with the reviewer who says it is full of generalizations only so far as this: What did you expect? If there were a specific, detailed method for genius, then we'd all be following it and our schools would be the top in the entire world. So sure, this is big-picture, right-brain thinking, and that's as it should be. Look at the work of Eric Jensen on the arts and thinking, or at the seminal culling of research and thinking that Daniel Pink and Richard Florida have done with their books, A Whole New Mind and The Rise of the Creative Class.

As an educator, no book in the past ten years, aside from Pink's A Whole New Mind, has had as great an influence on how I look at the students who enter my 7th and 8th grade classroom of a public school everyday, or on how I structure the environment of that classroom. As well, this book has had a profound influence on my own life and how I chose to live it, and in truth, I feel far more in touch with my own capabilities and with what genius (in Armstrong's definition) I possess. I take issue with the reviewer who feels that Armstrong is disingenuous in his definition of genius. Armstrong is quite clear and up front (it's right on the first page!) with his "redefining" of genius. And his "redefinition" isn't so much an act of rationalization for his own intents. Rather it's a tracing of the etymology of the word, it's history, and a reconnecting with the word's original meanings.
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