School Struggles - Dr. Richard Selznick

Released August 2012

Dr. Richard Selznick
Sentient Publications

Book Review by Jen Beams

One of the largest controversies we face today results from the question of; how much help do we need to give our children? At what point do parents step in? When should a child see a psychologist? If a child refuses to learn, is there something wrong with that child? Why can’t he or she just focus in class? Dr. Richard Selznick gives opinions on all of these questions in his book School Struggles.

At first glance, the book appears to be mostly generalizations and broad categories of good kids and bad kids. Dig a little deeper and you find a plea to parents to take action in their child’s learning, for teachers to individualize learning, for each child to be watched carefully so that they do not fall in the “cracks” of our educational system. He gives examples of real situations and snap shots of parents’ and children’s minds. He tells the reader exactly what to take away from the reading, providing for easy summarized reading, perfect for the busy parent or teacher.

As an education student, I highly recommend School Struggles to any parent and every teacher. It gives a solid look into the minds of children with diagnosed disorders, disabilities, and even those who are considered “average.” One solution, though it may work for some, does not work for all. He outlines the “cracks in the foundation” of our education system. Education is worked too much like a machine, where
children fit a specific mold and are treated as such. Where testing is the best and only way to determine intelligence, which is defined only by academic skill, and learning of social skills is a responsibility left to the children.

All of the great educational theorists I’ve read about, all of the text books I’ve been assigned to study agree with Dr. Selznick that we need to individualize learning, and we need to treat our children with respect and care in order for them to learn and develop. Dr. Selznick puts it into a language and organization that is
quick and easy reading, yet chuck full of knowledge, experience, and helpful insight.


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