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Fires in the Mind

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Table of Contents

Foreword (Dennis White). 1. What Does It Take to Get Good? Young people are developing mastery in ways we easily overlook. 2. Catching the Spark. Kids tell what draws them in and gives them confidence in learning. 3. Keeping at It. When do young people stick with something and make it their own? 4. Asking the Experts. Looking at how experts work, students make sense of their own process. 5. Exploring Deliberate Practice. Young people look closer at what makes practice effective. 6. Practice and Performance. Demonstrating mastery also helps students improve. 7. Bringing Practice into the Classroom. Students imagine the classroom as a community of practice. 8. Is Homework Deliberate Practice? Whether, when, and how to give kids practice after class. 9. School Projects That Build Expert Habits. Students talk about their most compelling curricula. 10. Making School a Community of Practice. Kids suggest ways that schools can foster expert habits. Appendix A: The Practice Project: A Five-Day Curriculum Outline for Secondary Teachers or Advisers. How to help students investigate the expert process. Appendix B: Resources That Help Light Fires in the Mind. Inspiration, tools, organizations, and other resources. The Student Contributors. Acknowledgments. About the Author. About What Kids Can Do. Index.

About the Author

Kathleen Cushman writes, speaks, and consults to a national audience of educators. A journalist and documentarian, she cofounded the nonprofit What Kids Can Do, which collaborates with diverse youth in the United States and abroad, bringing their voices to bear on the complex challenges that affect their lives and learning. She is also author of Fires in the Bathroom and coauthor, with Laura Rogers, of Fires in the Middle School Bathroom .


"Become passionate? is easy to say, hard to do, impossible to compel. Drawing on the insights of young persons, parents, teachers, and experts, Kathleen Cushman reveals the paths to passionate pursuit of something worthwhile." ?Howard Gardner, professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, author, Five Minds for the Future, Multiple Intelligences, and The Unschooled Mind ?No matter what stage we?re at as educators, every teacher can mine this book for many helpful nuggets to support student mastery. We can help ignite ?fires in the minds? of our kids, and this wonderful book makes an excellent fire starter.? ?Kathie Marshall, LAUSD teacher, in Teacher Leaders Network blog of the Center for Teaching Quality "In this remarkable book, Kathleen Cushman delves into the minds of young learners to provide us with an immensely useful, insightful, and indispensable guide to tapping the potential in every child. Essential reading for teachers, coaches, and parents alike." ?Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code

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