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Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It Paperback – October 15, 1999
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Louise Bates Ames Gesell Institute of Human Development Provocative, scholarly, and timely. Society may actually be changing our children's brains for the worse.
Priscilla Vail author of Smart Kids with School Problems Endangered Minds is a masterly blend of scientific knowledge, educational expertise, psychological insight, and common sense....Jane Healy sounds warnings we should all heed, and offers priorities and strategies compatible with the nature of childhood and the flowering of intellect.
Educational Leadership A fascinating exploration of today's much-deplored decline in school achievement....[Healy] clearly conveys the relationship between language, learning, and brain development, then explains why television viewing and present-day lifestyles sabotage language acquisition, thinking, and personal success.
About the Author
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D. is a teacher and educational psychologist who has worked with young people of all ages, from pre-school to graduate school. She has been a classroom teacher, reading and learning specialist, school administrator, and clinician. She is currently a lecturer and consultant, and the author of three books about how children do (and don’t) learn, Your Child’s Growing Mind, Endangered Minds, and Failure to Connect. She and her work have been featured in national media such as CNN and NPR. She has twice been named “Educator of the Year” by Delta Kappa Gamma, the professional honor society of women educators. Jane and her husband claim they have learned most of what they know from raising three sons and enjoying six grandchildren.
Top customer reviews
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In Endangered Minds she tackles the topic of cognitive development in children, and every aspect and activity that relates to it, or impacts it: especially television (hence her disdain for Sesame Street). What I appreciate most about this book is that she draws upon her vast knowledge of neuropsychology to grant readers both the scientific and psychological insights about the side effects of children watching too much televison, and how TV impedes the development of their reading and thinking abilities.
Instead of merely identifying television as the culprit for the decline in reading skills, she takes a practical, common sense approach to explaining why reading is important as it relates to the ability to reason, enrich linguistic skills, and develop inner speech (thinking in your head - which is crucial to problem solving). Her bottom line is that ANYTHING that reduces reading time, is not good for children; but television is especially bad for developing minds.
Unlike most books that are in appropriately titled, misleading, or don't deliver, Endangered Minds eloquently and accurately assesses the problems children face in becoming thinkers, and promptly provides solutions on how to increase their focus, and cognitive skils in the process.
My daughter tells me that her friends think that boys are easier to raise. Largely because you can stick them in front of a game and they won't bother you for hours. Geez. Why not get a dog instead? Or better yet a turtle? They require only physical care.
So... why not talk to your kids? Why not read and read to your kids? This is what enriches their brains.
I enjoyed the book and it did provide for me a boost in motivation to keep my family environment as conversation rich and interactive as possible. I was disappointed in the lack of practical solutions presented. The author spent much of the book telling what is wrong and laying out the dismal decline of children's minds in terms of expressive and reasoning capabilities. I would have enjoyed some tangible advice on how to guard against this trend she is proposing. I would recommend this book for parents of young children and educators.