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Marva Collins' Way Paperback – September 1, 1990
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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"Why is this book by Marva Collins so important? It is because this book represents her life, her convictions, and her work. Indeed, America would be infinitely better served if Marva Collins' philosophy of education somehow could become franchised and implemented on a national scale."
—Alex Haley, author of ROOTS
"Collins' unswerving faith in the abilities of her students and her 'tough love' approach are inspirational."
"Marva Collins has something to say to the nation's educators and anyone else interested in the education of children. It's refreshing to read about an educator's abiding belief in her students and to watch--through the pages of her book--as she turns hopeless, hostile youngsters into eager and ambitious achievers."
—The Detroit Free Press
"This is the book that motivated me to become a teacher and demonstrates the power that teachers and other role models can have on shaping the lives of children. Marva Collins is an inspiration and this book should be required reading for anyone interested in education."
—The Uncomfortable Optimist
"The success of Marva’s method has been astounding. Anyone who is teaching, who is considering teaching, anyone who is homeschooling, or who simply loves children, will find this book fascinating."
—The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
"This gifted dynamo of a teacher told the students in her first private, one-room Westside Preparatory School: ''I'm your friend and I'm going to help you all the time and I'm going to love you all the time. I love you already and I'm going to love you even when you don't love yourself.'' Her method: to convince the children she cares; that they can trust her; that they can accomplish anything they want to; that learning to read is hard work but they will learn. Her promise: ''I will not allow you to fail.'' Nothing can lessen the reader's admiration for a brave, brilliant woman who dares to believe in children when no one else will."
—Christian Science Monitor
"The Collins charisma makes for lively reading."
"This book is a continuous inspiration to us showing how only one person’s deep love and unwavering belief in her students’ abilities made a world of difference in their lives."
—Heart of Inspiration
"At its best it may influence you, in whatever role you have with children or education, to raise the standards and to stand up to a failing system in whatever way is applicable in your life."
—The Thinking Mother
About the Author
Marva Collins taught school for two years in Alabama, then moved to Chicago, where she taught in public schools for 14 years. Her experiences in that system, coupled with her dissatisfaction with the quality of education that her two youngest children were receiving in prestigious private schools, convinced her that children deserved better than what was passing for acceptable education. She took the $5,000 balance in her school pension fund and opened her own school on the second floor of her home.
The Westside Preparatory School was founded in 1975 in Garfield Park, a Chicago inner-city area. During the first year, Collins took in learning disabled, problem children and even one child who had been labeled by Chicago public school authorities as borderline retarded. At the end of the first year, every child scored at least five grades higher proving that the previous labels placed on these children were misguided. 60 Minutes, visited her school for the second time in 1996. That little girl who had been labeled as border line retarded, graduated from college Summa Cum Laude. Marva's graduates entered colleges and universities, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. They became physicians, lawyers, engineers, and educators. In 1996 she began supervising three Chicago public schools that had been placed on probation.
In 1981, she received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by the Jefferson Awards. In 2004 she received a National Humanities Medal for her teaching and efforts at school reform.
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This is a practical book. She wants us to know how to do what she does, and she's clear. Anybody who teaches children, or wants to do so, should buy this book, and read it several times a year. When you finally decide you've had it with the school district's latest insanity, you might even use her experiences to start your own school.
Classical education is a lost art. It ruled classrooms for 700 years, and then vanished, as kids taught by Deweyism and other sterile theories grew into teachers. Marva, a classical educator, tells not just what to teach, but who, how, and why. (The when and where are left to us.)
The book includes a tested, recommended reading list for children, and the list has books that dreams are made of- the book is worth it just for the reading list.
As I'm writing, the computer's offering a used copy for $0.98. What are you waiting for?
Reading this book you can't help but notice the small gestures - the touch on the shoulder, the mussing of the hair, the hugs, etc - the praise and affirmation, and her patience.
If you're an educator, work in education, a parent, or a to be parent, this is a must read. So society makes it seem like the only reason our children aren't learning is because of the lack of tools, lack of technique, or socioeconomic backgrounds. But as this book makes clear, the key to education is the teacher, specifically, the teachers love of children and her belief that they can learn. Without that first step, all the tools, money, and technique in the world won't get us very far. Children, and people in general, learn from people we like.
Also, read "Teach Your Own." Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling and "Freedom Challenge" Freedom Challenge: African American Homeschoolers