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Brain Matters: How to help anyone learn anything using neuroscience Kindle Edition
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- This is not a book: it is a copy / paste of a series of posts from the author’s blog and a couple articles of the ATD website (Association for the Talent Development). It probably works under a Kindle version but not on paper…
- No effort has been put into editing this into book format : you will find numerous instances of phrases that were originally links inciting you to click ‘here’ to go to such place (example1: p78 “…you can actually watch this process in action in this amazing video post from Camilla Matuk.”) How do I click on this link in a paper book? (example2: p82 “…read this interesting transcript <link?> and decide for yourself.) etc. The author could have made the effort to at least edit these phrases and others of the sort.
- Each 2 to 3 page “post” ends with 1 or 2 pages of links, some 5 lines thick!! Who will ever type in a five line url least a full line?
- The booklet is 137 pages. Take out the some 30 pages of links, 10 full pages of meaningless decorative illustrations, 5 or so blank pages and you are quickly down to some 90 pages of posts, which end up to be useless matter.
- I was fooled by the five star appraisals of the book and the catchy title and subtitles. The reviewers certainly have not read the paper edition. Were they paid to write those reviews?
- The title should not have been “Brain Matters” (BM), because it is just a bunch of Brain Stuff (BS): bits and pieces of random information scattered all over and not connected to one another although the author claims to have organized different topics under different chapters.
- The subtitle claims “How to help anyone learn anything using neuroscience” but you will probably learn very little here. If you are a bit familiar with neuroscience you might react like this : often smile (“how naïve!”), laugh out loud (“this is ridiculous!”) and frown (“this is totally wrong!”). The author’s bio reads that she is known as "The Brain Lady," “a scholar-practitioner”. Sorry but nothing here is of scholar level. Everything is second-hand from Youtube, Wikipedia, obscure links and only a couple good books based on real research. No scholar would produce such a piece of work because it would be a kill to their career!
- Information is outdated : the only well written chapter is taken from the ATP site and introduces MI (Multiple Intelligences) a theory on intelligences developed by Howard Gardner in 1983, but that has unfortunately nothing to do with neuroscience. It emerged from the field of psychology. Furthermore neuroscientists and education experts today have thoroughly discredited MI as a model for learning. Intelligence is a general property that stems from a part of the brain called the frontal cortices, and that we apply this intelligence to different tasks such as music, language and logic – our brain does not have specific multiple intelligences. This book introduces this 30 year old neuromyth and such others.
- A whole post (p.103) revolves around a quote from Shakespeare, totally misunderstood by the author, drawing to the conclusion that Shakespeare was wrong! And the logic that leads to this conclusion is supposed to sound smart. I won’t list all the misinterpretations and ineptness but almost every time the author tried to express her view, it just made my eyes grow wide open in disbelief!
- So not only will you not learn much but you are at risk of ingesting false information, ideas and concepts.
- The list of inanities would go on and on but I’ll stop here. You probably got the idea.
Thankfully, there are many wonderful books and authors out there, incredible researchers, teachers and writers, so many I am thankful for their insights and thorough, clever, penetrating work and engagement in what they do. If you want to read something useful and worthwhile concerning neuroscience I would recommend for example “How the Brain Learns” from Sousa, David A. (textbook format, great clear read, get the latest fourth edition), “The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them” by Davidson, Richard J. (the title lives up to its promise!), “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey “ by Jill Bolte Taylor ( a personal story that really changes the way we see life) and so many more high quality books with valuable information.
Hope this helps a few people save their money and time.