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A Mind at a Time Hardcover – 29 Apr 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (29 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743202228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743202220
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 911,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Every parent with a child that learns in a different way than the norm will find strategies, empathy, and hope in between the pages of this book. Because of what I learned from Mel Levine, I have taken a more active role in advocating for my son. I have scheduled meetings with the teacher and adjunct staff to search for workable options that will allow my son to learn and operate in ways that best suit him. He has sensory intergration problems, but is very gifted in computer programing and very well liked. He performs poorly on almost all standardized tests, but we found if someone reads the questions out loud to my son during the test, he understands the questions better and his scores significantly improve. He also has trouble keeping his place on the scantron answer sheet, which causes the answers to be off by one if he by accident misses answering a question. I'm told this happens due in part to his spatial learning disability. So when someone is able to check that my son is making a choice for each and every question, thereby keeping him on track taking the test properly, his score will more accurately reflect his cognitive ability in the subject matter. I believe, as does Mel Levine, that all children can learn to solve problems. After an initial meeting with my son's very dedicated and cooperative teacher along with regular follow-up sessions (that include my son), adjustments have been made in homework assignments, test-taking, and study routines. I am delighted that my son is doing much better academically in school and he feels he has actually gotten smarter. My son is proud of what he has accomplished.
I would like to also recommend two other books that go well with the Levine's philosophy. One is called "KIDS ARE WORTH IT-Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline".
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Format: Hardcover
I watched Dr Mel Levine on Oprah and couldn't get hold of this book fast enough. This is probably the most important book I have ever, or will ever read.Until now I'd fallen into the trap of thinking that a child's educational progress was directly linked to their degree of intelligence but this book rightly dismisses this unhelpful myth.
As Dr Levine himself explains 'different brains are differently wired' and his book goes on to explain why and how, liberally explained with helpful examples from his own experience as an education expert.The various learning patterns he describes are revelatory - it all seems obvious once you've read it which just goes to show that he puts his points across with immense lucidity and passion.
The book not only sheds light on the facinating subject of how children learn but also provides invaluable insight into practical coping strategies to deal with weaknesses. Better still, it constantly reminds you to celebrate their strengths.I felt immensely uplifted and encouraged by this book and would urge any parent of a child who might be struggling at school to read this book immediately.
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Format: Hardcover
If only more of the special needs co-ordinators would read this book, then they would view my son in the same way that I do. Although he cannot read or write, he is without doubt a supremy intelligent young man. He has practical skills that people of adult age cannot comprehend. By tapping into the mechanics of his mind, I will be able to re-train his thought pattern and re-introduce a reading and writing programme specially formatted to suit his capabilities and knowledge base.
Well done Mel Levine for writing this book and helping me to unlock my son's knowledge stores.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 109 reviews
357 of 375 people found the following review helpful
By Sandra D. Peters - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has a child in the school system knows that the educational process does not allow for one-on-one assessment of a child's learning abilities. A child either keeps pace or in many cases, falls behind. The author has written an excellent book on what a child needs in order to grow, learn, and develop his or her full potential.
It would be wonderful if all children learned at the same rate and possessed the same aptitude for learning; however, each child is a unique individual. The educational system today does not structure its learning process around that fundamental fact. A good many of the behavioural problems we see surfacing today stem from the fact a child becomes frustrated, bored, overwhelmingly challenged, or discouraged by the educational process, and their actions are often a result of what is lacking in the education system. Some parents, as well, do not take that fact into consideration and often expect Mary to keep up with brother John, because John seems to excel in everything, while Mary struggles to achieve.
There are a variety of topics to be found in the book, including development of memory, language, and motor skills. If you are an educator or have a child who is experiencing difficulties in this area, this book provides excellent resource material. It is one parents and individuals with the authority to make changes in the system should read and take to heart. The book contains a valuable message, is well researched, and is equally as well written.
85 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Significant, enlightening, and a good read too 20 May 2003
By P. Lozar - Published on
Format: Paperback
Other reviewers have discussed the pros and cons of Dr. Levine's theories in depth, so I won't go into those; in the field of cognitive psychology, I'm an interested (and, I think, fairly well-read) amateur rather than a professional.
That said, I feel that this is an important book for both parents and educators. The child's "job" of learning how to function in the world, and mastering the many tasks set for him/her by the educational system, isn't an easy one. The human mind is complex and multifaceted, but our schools tend to think of "intelligence" as a narrowly defined set of skills, and anyone who doesn't do well in those must be either stupid or lazy. (Levine notes that the moral implications of such judgments, e.g., that a student "doesn't try hard enough" or is "unmotivated," can be devastating to a child, and are often grossly unfair.) The irony is that -- as Levine points out -- the abilities that enable a child to succeed in school aren't necessarily those that conduce to success in later life; so, by rewarding performance only in certain areas, we doom many children to a low opinion of their abilities and ignore a wide spectrum of human potential.
Although the subject isn't exactly lightweight, I found the book appealing and highly readable. Dr. Levine clearly has great respect and affection for his young subjects, so his anecdotes are engaging and (often) amusing. I was especially tickled when he urged a young client not to let his teachers "catch him doing something right" because from then on they'd hold it against him. In school, I was a "divergent thinker" to the max: if a subject interested me, I'd do a brilliant job, but if not I'd blow it off. So my occasional successes turned into threats: "See how well you can do if you just TRY hard enough." Trying hard had nothing to do with it! (When I got into college and graduate school, where I could study the subjects that interested me, my GPA soared.)
Although Levine's work is often compared with Howard Gardner's, in fact they're complementary. Levine deals with cognitive skills (such as learning to filter stimuli), while Gardner deals with innate abilities or faculties in various subject areas (such as affinity for music). A child's learning difficulties could result from either one -- for example, problems with math might mean that the child can't focus on details, or has little math ability -- or they could be caused by something totally unrelated to intelligence, such as eye problems. As Levine memorably points out, every child's mind is different, and "one size fits all" solutions rarely address the real problem.
64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help for All Learners 7 Jun. 2002
By F. Hamilton - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Mel Levine, Founder of All Kinds of Minds Institute and Director of the University of North Carolina's Clinical Center for Development and Learning, describes himself as "a pediatrician with a mission." He is "obsessed with helping children find success." Indeed, after three decades of working in schools and with children, Levine is receiving national attention. Not only is _A Mind at a Time_ a bestseller, Levine has recently been featured on several national talk shows and on the ... documentary _Misunderstood Minds_.
_A Mind at a Time_ is easy for the lay person to read and understand. Although Levine closely follows educational research, he does not cite research studies in _A Mind at a Time_. Rather he bases the book on "objective clinical observation." Levine writes, "For me these kids have been like textbooks on learning and mind development. I can learn more about a child by getting to know her well than by reading a list of computer-generated test scores. In fact, whenever I participate in the clinical evaluation of a child, I see some facets of brain function that I have never before seen."
A genuine appreciation of each child shines through each of the case vignettes that Levine includes in _A Mind at a Time_. This appreciation is not merely compassion for a child dealing with learning difficulties; it is a celebration of the unique combination of strengths and weaknesses that makes up each child's mind. Optimism also pervades the discussion of each child.
Levine identifies eight "neurodevelopmental systems" that work together during learning. The relationship between these systems is similar to that between the body's physiological systems (such as the circulatory system and the respiratory system). These eight systems are
� attention control
� memory
� language
� spatial ordering
� sequential ordering
� motor
� higher thinking (including problem solving, logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, and more)
� social thinking
Levine examines each of these systems in detail and includes "practical considerations" for helping children function well in each area. He says that many dysfunctions in these areas cannot be identified on any test.
Levine points out that people are expected to do well at everything only when they are children. Once they are out of school, they can select a career that is a good match to their neurodevelopmental strengths.
Levine believes that before addressing difficulties with learning it is important to examine "how learning works when it's working." This leads to an upward spiral for success as remedies for learning problems can be applied to improve learning strategies for all students.
Levine concludes _A Mind at a Time_ with chapters about the roles of the home and the school in learning. He also provides an index and an annotated list of "Helpful Readings and Other Resources."
83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Information, but no practical help 6 Jun. 2002
By Letha L Mark - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I read this book with the idea that I would get some help in knowing how to help my son with some of the learning challenges he has faced. The book was very informative about how the brain works and different learning styles and challenges. However, there really were no exercises or concrete advice about how to work on the different problem areas. Only general advice was given, nothing specific to the individual problems. It made me feel as though the author wanted us to buy the book to know all the whys, but he didn't want to undermine the therapists' ability to make a living by giving us the 'hows'. It frustrated me because I already know where the problem areas are.... what I wanted to know was how to practice overcoming them. The book did not help me here.
89 of 100 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A well written disappointment 5 April 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is so promising from the cover. It is filled with anecdotal information, which makes the reading more enjoyable. And the information is solid, well written and detailed. I was disappointed however, in the lack of information on how to tell which of these areas are problem areas, and what to do about it. Often, the author relates that after testing the evaluation team found... and then does not explain how a parent at home might go about doing this type of "evaluation". Then he talks about creating a plan to focus on the strengths of the child to overcome the weak points. Great plan, but again gives very little help in how a parent might go about doing it. Mostly this book is not about giving out usable information, but really about promoting his "Schools Attuned" program and one student success center in Raleigh, NC! This book describes in detail and with examples all the areas a child might have difficulty, but will give you little help in figuring out which are problem areas for your child, and what (if you manage to figure out the problem) to do about it. Wonderful information, what to do with it?
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