Additional Reviews of The Thinking Academy
As we progress through the 21st century, the importance of teaching our students to be engaged, thought-provoking critical thinkers is more important than ever before. In his book, The Thinking Academy, Dr. David Martin and Irving Schein present a clear vision for the revitalization of critical thinking in today’s schools. From providing foundational insights, articles, and program examples, to the use of both student and program case studies, this book provides a solid explanation of program thought, development, and implementation. In reading this text, you will discover how the infusion of cognitive education across your curriculum will enhance student thinking skills, raise the level of your curricula’s meaning, increase problem-solving abilities, and ultimately advance students toward reaching their full academic potential.
David Martin and Irv Schein’s proposal to redesign America’s schools serves as a “go to” manual that helps administrative staff and teachers guide schools toward cognitive education. Our teachers learned how to use the tools of the FIE program and infuse them into the current curriculum. After reading the manual, ideas were generated and teachers were enthusiastic about incorporating problem-solving and character building skills into the content material. Our questions were answered as to what a “Thinking Academy” would actually look like in our situation. The authors presented the strategies for reform in a practical, do-able manner.
Cognitive Training Specialist
Green Hills, Nashville, TN
The publication of “The Thinking Academy” provides schools across America with a solid framework for school improvement that moves the agenda beyond just talk and promise. There are many publications that present the challenges of 21 st Century schooling and that list a wide array of skills and goals for student achievement. And there are many good programs that educators can embrace in order to pursue those worthwhile goals. But it is another thing to design a whole school culture and environment that will focus on the core 2st century skills of higher-order thinking and problem-solving. These skills in turn will engage every academic discipline and every activity of the school.
The authors of “The Thinking Academy” present their framework within the context of a thinking skills curriculum and methodology that is credible, well-researched, and based on the experiences of cognitive educators for several decades. The school-wide use of the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program provides a powerful and integrating opportunity for school communities to effect a radical transformation in their culture of learning and in the quality of their interactions with one another.
“The Thinking Academy” does not promise a’ quick fix nor an easy solution to the critical issues that surround education in ‘the United States today. The effort to adopt and implement their framework for improvement will take time and considerable effort. But there should be no hesitation on the part of educators to shy away from taking up the challenge. Our children deserve the best, and “The Thinking Academy” gives us the practical structure to actively pursue that best with confidence and vision.
Monsignor James E. Gilg
Archdiocese of Omaha (NE) Schools
Professor David Martin and co-author Irving Schein succeed in presenting an efficient, detailed plan for the implementation of a Thinking Academy. Clear guidelines are provided on how to develop a Thinking Academy; whom should be included; and what procedures should be followed. There is a constant reminder of the importance of sustained cognitive mediation and what results were achieved. This aspect forms an integral part of the outlined implementation process. The Thinking Academy empowers role-players to guide all students to reflect on the mental processes that they use in problem-solving, so that they are consciously aware of the mental tools that they can access in any situation—aiming to become autonomous problem-solvers of the future and advocating that no child should be left behind. A Thinking Academy, as outlined by the authors, will lead to adults who can make implicit connections between subject matter and cognitive processes—adults who have learned how to learn.
Head, NID Academy
The new Thinking Academy book written by Dr. David Martin and Irv Schein is quite an accomplishment. It is the most detailed blueprint for school reform that I know of. The book has numerous examples of how to implement Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment model in a comprehensive school. In addition the book provides evidence in terms of successful whole school models using Instrumental Enrichment. It also is very helpful for principals in connecting content and process in infusing thinking and metacognition in schools. This book also emphasizes democratic decision making which is important in today’s schools.-Schools have been moving away from a collaborative model approach. This kind of school will work with all learners because it teaches how to learn, and not just what to learn.
Special Education Teacher
Newark (NJ) Public Schools