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Raising Children to Love Learning
Deborah Stipek, Ph.D., and Kathy Seal
Holt Paperbacks, April 2001
ISBN: 978-0-8050-6395-0, ISBN10: 0-8050-6395-1,
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 288 pages,
Trade Paperback, $17.99
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How do we show our children the great joys of learning? How do we get them to want more? In the past, parents and educators have offered rewards and threatened punishment. More recently, they have focused on building self-esteem, but the latest research shows that this effort hasn't had a measurable impact in the classroom—and can even discourage children from learning. Combining years of experience in schools with a thorough survey of current research, Deborah Stipek and Kathy Seal offer this fresh and practical guide to what really works.
explains how close relationships with adults and feelings of competency and autonomy make children want to learn.
The authors describe how to create an intellectually enriching environment for children that will enhance their school experience. They offer practical advice on promoting enthusiasm, academic risk-taking, and persistence, and they give down-to-earth tips for managing difficult issues—praise, grades, rewards, competition, and performance pressure—that inevitably arise for schoolchildren and parents.
is an important guide for all those concerned with raising our children. Stipek and Seal offer a wealth of practical wisdom, providing readers with effective strategies for creating environments that enrich children's learning and overall development. While doing so, they also share with readers a deep understanding of the importance of caring and supportive relationships in children's lives."—
Dr. James P. Comer, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center; associate dean, Yale School of Medicine; author of
Waiting for a Miracle: Why Schools Can't Solve Our Problems—and How We Can
is a 'must read' for all parents who want their children to love learning. Deborah Stipek and Kathy Seal turn research findings into accessible, fun, and effective strategies parents [and educators] can use today and every day to help their children succeed."—
Ted Mitchell, Ph.D., president of Occidental College, senior education advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan, and former vice president for education and strategic initiative at the J. Paul Getty Trust
"Based on research and actual experience as psychologists and parents, Stipek and Seal offer insights on what makes children succeed in school and strategies for parents to help their children build a solid foundation in learning. The authors, countering popular emphasis on building self-esteem and relying on grades as rewards and measurements of success in learning, focus on showing how to raise children to be enthusiastic learners who are self-motivated. Stipek and Seal focus on four 'essential components of loving learning': basic skills, confidence of becoming more skilled, choices and control over what they learn, and parental support and respect. Stipek and Seal suggest that parents use their children's interests and passions outside of school to encourage learning. Parents should also connect school learning to the real world—for example, connect science to the natural world and math to everyday life. This book offers valuable strategies."—
"Stipek, Dean of the School of Education at Stanford University, and Seal, a freelance psychology and education journalist, believe that most children are born with the desire to learn but that this desire starts to decline at about middle school. Rather than focusing solely on boosting self-esteem (which she says can 'do damage'), she advises [educators and] parents to foster competence, autonomy, and relationship security in children. One of her most useful bits of advice is how to connect book learning to the real world. She also rightly points out that if children worry that making a mistake will make them look bad, they will avoid challenge. Caretakers, she says, should help children understand that they can feel and even get to be smarter by doing their work."—
Annete V. Janes,
About the Author(s)
Ph.D. Deborah Stipek, Ph.D.
, Ph.D., is the dean of the School of Education at Stanford University. An internationally recognized scholar who has published more than seventy articles and books on motivation, she was, for a decade, the director of UCLA's Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School, known worldwide as a laboratory for innovation in motivation. She lives in Palo Alto.
is a journalist and author who has written about education and psychology since 1985 for such publications as
The New York Times, Family Circle
. She and her family live in Santa Monica.
Have you ever said anything like this to your child?
"I know you're in the middle of building your block castle, but you'll just have to leave it for now and finish when we get back from the store."
"Will you please get off the Internet so someone else in this house can use the phone? I don't care if you haven't read everything there is on the Web about polar bears.
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