You Are Your Own Best Teacher!
Sparking the Curiosity, Imagination and Intellect of Tweens
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About the Author
CLAIRE NADER is a political scientist and author recognized for her work on the impact of science on society. She is an advocate for numerous causes at the local, national and international level. As the first social scientist working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she joined pioneering initiatives in energy conservation and the multifaceted connections between science, technology and public policy. While at Oak Ridge she organized a groundbreaking global conference (1967) on Science and Technology in Developing Countries and co-edited the conference proceedings with Professor A.B. Zahlan (Cambridge University Press, 1969). Later she worked to improve corporate and governmental policies affecting communities through a variety of projects and nonprofit institutions. For ten years she chaired the Council for Responsible Genetics in Cambridge, MA. She founded the Winsted Health Center Foundation advocating for locally controlled health care. And for thirty- two years she has administered the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage in Washington, D.C. Informed civic participation for a renewable democracy is at the core of her missions as a synergistic public citizen. Nader is a graduate of Smith College and holds a Ph.D. in Public Law and Government from Columbia University.
About the Book
You Are Your Own Best Teacher! provides a remarkable variety of teachable antidotes to the punishing forces bearing down on youngsters from harmful marketing, the insidious grip of ‘virtual reality’ and the tyranny of peer groups. Apprehensive parents and burdened teachers will delight in the lessons of this book for Tweens (nine to twelve year olds). It will spark their innate curiosity, imagination and idealism. Tweens, who are whipsawed by relentless distractions, profit-driven manipulations and oncoming addictions, are guided toward elevating their own sense of significance, protection and realizable achievements. Through this process of discovery, they explore wider frames of reference with roles inside and outside the family environment.
Many motivating stories from history to the present make Claire Nader’s gentle nudges toward self-educational experiences exciting. She takes children on a tour of the print dictionary, highlighting concepts such as justice, freedom, peace, wisdom and gratitude. She introduces the young to Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass and Helen Keller to illustrate their profound awareness and discipline. By addressing Tween self-consciousness, the book takes youngsters on new explorations about being “smart” to learn about their own bodies, pressing for physical activity, eating smartly, controlling their time and avoiding hours glued to hypnotic screens. By explaining the importance of learning to unlearn and ask questions such as “what if?” and “why?” she encourages Tweens to teach themselves to distinguish fact from fiction, thinking from believing, respect from disrespect, all of which will prepare them for the realities they will face as they grow older.
This book doesn’t talk down to Tweens. The author shows they are capable of understanding the perils of “click on” contracts and their rights under tort law. Self- teaching to build their confidence is also heartening for parents who feel deeply the loss of parental upbringing to the stupefying seductions of video-driven hucksters. The book offers suggestions to encourage communing more with nature, enriching family discussions, retrieving the wisdom of the ancients, using proverbs and extending the ability of children to concentrate. Teachers understand the benefits of self-education that enhance the vitality of their classrooms.
Nader speaks to Tweens about their futures as active young citizens, skeptical shoppers and life-long learners. Her suggestions will equip Tweens to better handle their turbulent adolescent years and later apply their skills to further the common good and protect posterity.
With a calming sense of humor, Nader’s You Are Your Own Best Teacher! will bring out the best from our inherently eager youngsters. This book showcases refreshing connections between parents and children, and reveals many serious shortcomings of formal education, which can be easily remedied.