- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (September 5, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 068486598X
- ISBN-13: 978-0684865980
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Learning Outside The Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD Give You the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution 1st Edition
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Criticism for the public school system in the United States is nothing new; kids of all skill levels are slipping through the cracks at every age and in every city. Rather than attempting to change the system or point out it's failures, Jonathon Mooney and David Cole have created a practical guide to help kids jump through the necessary hoops to achieve whatever larger, postschool goals they may have. While much of the material is written for kids who've received the label LD or ADHD, many of the suggestions can be just as helpful for those who've been labeled "gifted," or any other student who feels frustrated with the daily routine of standard education.
The introduction (personal histories of the authors) is great reading for parents of LD or ADHD kids, and much of it has a humorous tone that makes it equally appropriate (and approachable) for discouraged adolescents. From the terror of weekly spelling tests to the few inspiring teachers and tutors the two encountered, the tales are equal parts entertaining, poignant, and encouraging to others who may well be experiencing quite similar events. There's little discussion of what methods are right or wrong--ultimately, both authors take a fundamentally pragmatic view, and it's "right" if it worked. A steady focus on study skills fills the majority of the book, and Mooney and Cole take what are generally pretty familiar stands on note-taking and test preparation and break them down into easily digestible concepts. With different methods for different types of learners (visual thinkers are encouraged to use maps and brightly colored markers), students will find plenty of help in creating notebooks, focusing their attention, and even appropriate ways of conducting the infamous all-nighter. Including information on how to recover lost class notebooks, how to make the most of a syllabus, and "The Seven Habits of Highly Disorganized People," Learning Outside the Lines provides students with plenty of tools to further each reader's personal idea of success. --Jill Lightner
About the Author
Jonathan Mooney is a dyslexic student who did not learn to read until he was twelve years old. After attending Loyola Marymount University for one year, he transferred to Brown University, where he graduated with an honors degree in English. Mooney is also the recipient of the distinguished Truman Fellowship for graduate study in the field of learning disabilities and special education.
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Top Customer Reviews
Learning Outside the Lines provides information on some basic study skills which would be very useful for those students that have never learned to study. Where I went to high school most-all of these were taught to us alongside the same tactics the authors deride (“Just study harder,” etc.). These are the same sorts of things you’ll be able to find doing a simple Google search for: “How to study well” (or) “how to become a good student,” things like: learning to compartmentalize assignments for greater manageability and maximizing information retention from textbook readings. The authors do make a point of allowing readers options to “individualize” their studying and education and to ‘take what works for you, burn the rest’ but will any of this actually specifically help someone with LD/ADHD? No.
What this book does contain is solid but there’s nothing in this book that doesn’t apply equally well to non-LD/ADHD people. The personal accounts, yes. The actual information, tips and guides, no. It seems to, almost, take for granted that the reader has, somehow, overcome their disability (and past/emotional relationship to school) and is now, in college, ready to begin as if they were never LD/ADHD and merely need to learn “how” to study. There’s not one bit of information on how the ADHD students who, according to the epilogue, could hardly even stand still into their 20s, managed to actually do the reading (skimming, it seems this book so frequently advises), the outlining, the research and the classroom participation required to follow this advice in the first place. There’s hardly any explanation for how a dyslexic student who couldn’t write until junior high became an Ivy League honors English Major, and much less any sort of “process” that could help others with different disorders follow in his footsteps. It’s as if in their climbing the ladder of education, now trying to help others up, they’ve forgotten the bottom rungs exist.
Jonathon is an articulate presenter and his story is compelling. A student who is ADHD and possessing a grade level (high school) comprehension level will find the content presented easy to understand. The amount of text and it's academic level makes this book useless for a student who cannot comprehend high school level text. It will never be read. The ideas presented are all sound, but verbose at times.
Both authors were raised in what appears to be intact, English speaking homes. This infuses many of their methods with assumptions about the level of home support the students they are guiding will receive. In an effort to "identify" with high school/college students there is an unprofessional inclusion of gratuitous profanity. Much more than was used by Jonathan when I heard him speak. To "improve" attention to their recommendations there are times when tantalizing subjects are used to attract attention. Since both of these men have some academic success, these are surprising. My intent is not to sound prudish, just disappointed since this is not a novel.
I can recommend this book's ideas for most anyone, though they need to be heavily edited for my students. Would I be plagiarizing to edit them?