A Mind at a Time

Simon and Schuster

Mel Levine M.D.

Central Theme
America’s top learning expert shows how every child can succeed once you understand how that child learns.

In a one-size-fits-all educational system many intelligent children feel stupid because the one size does not fit them. Levine has spent a career working with kids whose learning style made them misfits in the system, yet once identified and harnessed revealed a bright intelligence hitherto misunderstood. For education to succeed, and Levine is optimistic it can, educators must first understand and identify learning styles and then approach each child with that style in mind. In the meantime these children need an understanding advocate and that role usually falls to a parent determined to help the child succeed.

While Levine does not explore the theological ramifications of his position, in my mind they are considerable and important. If God is infinitely creative, does it not stand to reason that each individual crafted by God is truly unique? If so, the idea of ‘norms’ is irrelevant and we ought to instead focus on understanding and enjoying the uniqueness of each child and adult.

Beliefs num
–There is a wide range of learning styles.
–The eight major neurodevelopmental systems are: the attention control system, memory system, language system, spatial ordering system, sequential ordering system, motor system, higher thinking system, social thinking system.
–Each requires a different teaching approach.
–Because formal education so often caters to one style many children are made to feel stupid.
–We need nothing short of a revolution in the way we approach the education of our children.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Do you believe each child is intelligent in his or her own way?
–How do you learn best?
–Did the educational system work well for you? Where did it work best? Where was it least effective?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Mind, n. A mysterious form of matter secreted by the brain. Its chief activity consists in the endeavor to ascertain its own nature, the futility of the attempt being due to the fact that it has nothing but itself to know itself with.
==Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
–The mosquito is an automaton. It can afford to be nothing else. There are only about one hundred thousand nerve cells in its tiny head, and each one has to pull its weight. The only way to run accurately and successfully through a life cycle in a matter of days is by instinct, a series of rigid behaviors programmed by the genes….The channels of human mental development, in contrast, are circuitous and variable.
==Edward O. Wilson, On Human Nature


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