Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Are You Listening?

I am very excited to announce that my friend and colleague Lisa Burman has finished writing her book Are You Listening? Fostering Conversations That Help Young Children Learn. It will be available this spring through Redleaf Press. They have provided the following description:

Conversations are more than an exchange of words; they are the core of the teaching method discussed in Are You Listening? This book offers early childhood educators an original model for using conversation as a learning tool in the classroom that is child-centered and compatible with emergent and Reggio Emilia approaches.

Conversation is a powerful tool that engages children in actively constructing their understandings of the world while also strengthening their social, cognitive, and language skills. This book explains how to create a culture of conversation, including information on theories of learning and how to facilitate discussions based on children's interests, set up your classroom to promote conversation, and document and interpret what is said.

I have been after Lisa to include a picture or story about me in this book and so far she is not letting on as to whether or not I made the final cut. That sorta tells me that I didn't, but even if that is true I am still thrilled for her. Big of me, huh?

Lisa and I have had discussions about publishing texts vs focusing on doctoral studies. It is difficult to do both at the same time. Sometimes I think it would be better to bypass the doctoral studies altogether and get right into publishing. But then I could not add the Dr. in front of my name on these yet to be written masterpieces so for the moment I'll stay the course. :)

Truly, Lisa is a real inspiration. Bright, sexy, fun, clever and humble. I think that parents as well as teachers would benefit from what she has written here.

Congratulations Lisa!

Well done mate.

14 comments:

kimy said...

sounds as if this is going to be a very helpful book for everyone who deals with children....

'a culture of conversation' - very important.

thanks for the head's up I look forward to its release!

d. chedwick bryant said...

Conversation is so important, both in a group and one on one. Especially good for those shy in groups.

A nice discussion forum in a classroom--I think it would be wonderful--I don't recall this when I was at school.

lettuce said...

i don't remember having this sort of culture at school either but its so central to learning i think too


as for the doctoral studies - well, where would Dr. Seuss have got without his?

Salty Miss Jill said...

This is going on my 'to read-psychology' list...if only to see you in the final cut! :D

Scot said...

I agree that conversation helps with understanding. Too bad many teachers are more worried about how to get kids to stay quiet...

If you're set on being Dr. Gary, is there anything saying that you can't occationallytake your doctoral work, convert it into readable material, and publish it? At the very least, you could do that once the work is done (post doctorally); after all, aren't PhD's supposed to publish?.

la bellina mammina said...

Congratulations Lisa!

Growing up, my sister and I never had proper conversations with our parents, as kids (were) seen but not heard at that time.

But in my household, there is never short of conversation and I know how important it is for the emotional development and self esteem for children.

p.s if you make it to the book, do tell!

Reya Mellicker said...

Bravo Lisa! Hope you're part of it....

d. chedwick bryant said...

Have you seen the Curious George from the USPostal Service? His T shirt has a Stamp on it. I didn't get a good look at him, as he was high up on a wall at the P.O.

WAT said...

Congrats to Lisa.

But hey, whether ya make the final cut of the book or not, you're still quite a handsome teaching hero in my book.

Speaking of books, when u gonna write yer own?

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

It's cool to have a friend that writes' children books. I've meant to ask if you ever knew the children's book author Diana Cohn who wrote "Si, Se Puede" and used to teach at the Red School House in Manhattan.

Steve said...

One of my relatives had a son who was very slow to develop in terms of speech skills, and I often think it's because he just didn't have enough conversational interaction. My impression is that he watched a lot of television, "Teletubbies" specifically. He talked like a Teletubby for YEARS. Conversation is SO important!

Gary said...

Kimy - I am really looking forward to reading this book (and not just because there may be a mention of me). I am constantly learning to simply listen. It seems so easy but it does require some effort to step back and do just that. It amazes me how children respond when they know their thoughts and ideas are being heard. I think it all comes back to respect. And I am glad to be in a position where I can do this.

Ched - I know. It is a different way of going about things. Listening means that children are given more responsibility for their education. Teachers are no longer feeding them information because now learning is a two way interaction.
And...I have seen the Curious George Postal Monkey. I was toying with buying him for myself but in a moment of clarity I decided not against it. But, I fear my collection is lacking so I may go get him after all.

Letty - Dr. Seuss! I love it. Some of the stories/books don't translate well into ASL but The Lorax never misses.

Salty - Hope I don't disappoint. You know I didn't miss a photo op. for this one. Thanks.

Scot - Exactly. I plan to publish my doctoral work in journals and such but that is different than a book. I actually have a book idea floating around. It is a joint effort with the amazing Dr. Joanna Uhry from Fordham who has agreed to work with me on a book about the Cosby Program. My biggest problem is finding the time to do everything I want to do. I suppose that is not such a bad problem. I am grateful for the ideas. Publish or perish!

Bella - I am sure LP has quite a few things to add to any conversation. :) I will keep you posted on the book. If I make it I will include page numbers. LOL

Reya Dahlink - From your lips...

Wat - Sweet, sweet Wat - Thanks. I love being a teaching hero. It makes me feel like I should get into a spandax outfit and scale a black board.

JT (LdB) - I do not know Diana Cohn personally and I am unfamiliar with her book. I will have to google it. Thanks for the heads up.

Steve - Teletubbies are to blame for so many of the world's problems are they not? Especially Satan's spawn Tinky Winky. Isn't that what we've been told? However..it is fun to talk like a telebubby every so often.

Arielle said...

Just been catching up on your blog. I've been crazed in the "real world" lately with wedding madness, haha, but I've had a few moments tonight to post in mine and check in with some others! Congrats to Lisa on finishing her book. It sounds like it will be very beneficial to a lot of people. I have enjoyed catching up on your other posts as well. Take care, Gary!

Lisa said...

I'm feeling very humbled and grateful for all your generous comments and encouragement! Thank you so much, Gary - you're always the most encouraging! But mostly, thank you sincerely for supporting me and my book. I can't quite believe that I've written a book! Probably won't believe it until I have a copy in my hands. That should be June if Redleaf's timeline stays on track.

As for publishing yourself, Gary...you already are! Your writing is published every time you write your blog - you're the modern information-age author! You have so much knowledge and insight to share with other educators. I agree with the other blogger who encouraged you to work your thesis into a form which will reach more readers.

I learned SO much about writing from my own experience over the past two years. I encourage everyone who teaches writing to 'have a go' because it only enriches your understanding of how to teach young writers.

As for being part of the book...well, you'll just have to wait and see, Gary! (one thing I have learned though is the first time author doesn't always have the final say about the end product!)

Thank you everyone for your encouragement and support.

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