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The Myth of Laziness
by Mel Levine
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743213688, Paperback)A professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School, Mel Levine received acclaim for his previous book, A Mind at a Time, which argued that children’s different learning capabilities demand diverse teaching strategies. In The Myth of Laziness, Levine isolates another group of kids--so-called "lazy" children who aren’t working up to their potential in school--and explores the causes of their low performance. Levine scoffs at the perception that any child is lazy, stating that "everybody yearns to be productive." These children, according to Levine, are simply experiencing "output failure" due to different neuro-developmental weaknesses.
Levine produces case studies of seven children and adults who have been labeled lazy and identifies internal sources that are undermining their production. Many of their output issues revolve around difficulties with writing, as is the case with Russell, who is hindered by his low motor skills, or Clint, whose long-term memory lapses prevent him from expressing himself well. Other weaknesses, such as poor oral language ability, mental energy dysfunction, poor idea generation, and organizational problems, plague the individuals in these case studies. Levine talks briefly about external factors that contribute to low output, such as socioeconomic background, family life, and negative role models. In the profile for Scott Murray, Levine even has the humility to admit that he was unable to reach this young man. External influences--namely, Scott’s privileged upbringing--were too pervasive in causing his output failure.
The last few chapters are devoted to suggestions for what parents and teachers can do to foster productive output in their children and students and how to detect a problem that is internal rather than environmental. Tips on how to cultivate writing skills, set up an organized home office, and assist with homework are aimed at parents while teachers are encouraged to consider individuality among their students’ learning styles. Finally, the appendices offer two worksheets to help students plan stories and reports. Two additional worksheets help pinpoint whether output problems are the cause of poor schoolwork. This is a valuable book that will give parents some guidance in solving their children’s productivity issues and preparing their children successfully for adulthood. --Cristina Vaamonde
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:26 -0400)
Shows parents how to help their children become productive adults, explaining how to overcome the common problem of getting work done, identifying areas of neurodevelopmental weakness, and demonstrating how to emphasize a child's strengths.
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