Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Developing Teacher Competences: Key Issues and Values

“Ilshat Gafurov, Aydar Kalimullin, Roza Valeeva, and Nick Rushby’s edited collection Developing Teacher Competences: Key Issues and Values includes various research works around better understanding the public education sector in the Russian Federation (Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) in a time of reform…This book offers a sense of the teacher’s need to subsume the self (and self-interests) to the child and the profession, to a degree that may be somewhat foreign in the U.S. Universally, teaching is a giving profession, but the well-being of the teacher is important, too, for the system to work. These works differentiate between “foreign” research and the implied “domestic,” which is an interesting differentiation given the international aspects of education (and research that suggests skepticism of the ideas not developed locally, wherever “local” may be)…READ MORE– Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2021), Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University

Advocacy in Education: Research-Based Strategies for Teachers, Administrators, and Teacher Educators

“Those who take on the myriad challenges of teaching are informed by, perhaps, idealist streaks and values. They can imagine a better world beyond the status quo and do not defend the present unthinkingly or uncritically. Many teachers play larger roles in their communities and engage socially and politically. They focus on ways to move society forward and to better the lives of people. Their positions are important ones socially, and they do not come with silencing although what teachers do on their own time does come under broad scrutiny and awareness. Teachers are people, and they have to be able to live with themselves and their actions and their advocacy.  Advocacy in Education: Research-Based Strategies for Teachers, Administrators, and Teacher Educators, edited by Elizabeth Ethridge, Jill M. Davis, Christian Winterbottom, and Amber H. Beisly, asks important questions about what issues are critical in the K12 education space and how to achieve better ends for teachers and learners, and the larger society. This collection also shows the importance of teachers recruiting allies to the issues, so as to achieve better outcomes…READ MORE– Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2021), Instructional Designer/Researcher, Kansas State University

Arts Therapy in a Changing World: Creative Interdisciplinary Concepts and Methods for Group and Individual Development

“This is a pioneering book which enables us to safely cross several borders. Berger brings together a strong body of knowledge in the field of performance in dramatherapy and integrates nature therapy with a series of working models. It is important that we can take the bigger view of arts therapies through his lens, and not scramble around in a microscopic corner of protective territory. I warmly recommend this book for all therapists and educationalists.”
Professor Sue Jennings
Innovator of Neuro-Dramatic-Play, Dramatherapy Pioneer
Senior Research Fellow, University of Birmingham, England

Arts Therapy in a Changing World: Creative Interdisciplinary Concepts and Methods for Group and Individual Development makes a significant contribution to the arts as therapy model and materializes its rich potential. It presents novel and interdisciplinary approaches for group work intertwined with the arts including arts-based work in nature, arts-based supervision, performance-based therapy and virtual art based therapy.”
Professor Alexander Kopytin
Psychology Department
St. Petersburg Academy of Post-Graduate Pedagogical Education, Chair, Russian Art Therapy Association, Russia

Emergent Literacy Spectrum of Bilingual Children in India

“‘Quality of Education’ is the buzz word that one keeps hearing across the globe. One can never undermine the fact that the quality of education can be enhanced only when we gain knowledge of the underlying skills that help children to be literate. Even today, education of children has been viewed within the framework of the school curriculum which is neither true nor fair. Pratham, a non-governmental organization has proved beyond doubt that children begin to learn literacy skills much before formal schooling. Pratham’s preschool package for 3 to 5 year- old is based on themes from the child’s immediate environment. The program also has the end goal of preparing children with enough school readiness skills so that the transition to schools will be a smooth and easy experience. In my opinion, the Monograph on Emergent Literacy Spectrum of Bilingual Children in India is the right piece of work at the most appropriate time. The Monograph opens up a vista of thoughts, research questions, ideas, and activities for educational practice in both monolingual and bilingual contexts. Since bilingual children are facilitated in their cognitive development, the thrust given by the author to the spectrum of skills should be taken into cognizance by the educational authorities, teachers, professionals, and parents. I wish there would be more books in the future to gear up our focus on Quality of Education, RPwD Act, and NEP, 2020.”
Padmini, T. Ph.D., (Former) Emeritus Professor of Education, Department of Studies in Education, University of Mysore, Mysore, India

“Significant development across the globe is a matter of pride for all human beings. It is beyond doubt that for all these developments, the crucial factor is literacy. It is my conviction that literacy enhancement in children lays a strong foundation for a productive world. My service for nearly four decades as Itinerant Speech Therapist liaising between institutional-based professionals as well as community-level functionaries left me in a lurch for want of an introductory book on emergent literacy. I had shared my thoughts with Dr. Prema Rao, who judiciously considered writing a Monograph on emergent literacy. The Monograph, in addition to the description of different phases of emergent literacy, brings out the spectrum of skills that emerge in bilingual children drawing support from research. The reader-friendly writing style, sections focused on specific themes augmented with relevant diagrams hold the attention of readers. I sincerely hope and wish that the readers make the best use of information and resources available in the Monograph to facilitate literacy development in children.”
Ms. Indira Nair, Graduate in Speech and Hearing, (Former) Itinerant Speech Therapist, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Manasagangothri, Mysore, India

Fostering Giftedness: Challenges and Opportunities

“The book, Fostering Giftedness: Challenges and Opportunities, is a true source of inspiration for nurturing exceptional individuals with the brightest potential to improve social, technological, economic, and cultural life. Book readers, regardless of whether they are educators, school administrators or parents, will definitely enjoy reading the book whose themes should always be prioritized in every school system.”
Professor Dr. Irena Zavrl, University of Applied Sciences Burgenland

This book will definitely aid teachers and trainee teachers in identifying gifted students and in creating an optimal environment to enable and foster the development of giftedness. Moreover, it will help in resolving doubts that many parents of gifted and talented students face.”
Professor Dr. Kurt Allabauer, University College of Teacher Education in Lower Austria

Clinical Training in Undergraduate Medical Education

“Well worth reading; an excellent resource recommended to medical and health educators and those novices to teaching. It is an absolute must-read.”
Samy Azer, Professor of Medical Education, King Saud University, Riyadh, S.Arabia

“When I read the different chapters, I immediately realized how well structured the book is and how much it can bring to clinical training. Whether you decide to read the text systematically as proposed in the book or read the chapters more relevant to your specific needs, you will find the book extremely useful to improve your practice.”
Madalena Patrício, PhD, University of Lisbon, School of Medicine, Portugal; Former President of AMEE

Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of College Students

Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of College Students, a book of edited chapters by Seungyeon Lee (2020), is a delightful volume, and allow me to tell you why. It is wonderfully diverse from several different perspectives. The broad topics that you expect to find in a volume about college student success are here, but there are also niche topics that many readers will find innovative. There are chapters about college student mental health, resiliency, achievement, career decision-making, procrastination, motivation, parental influence (including overparenting), substance use, and relationships – all topics that education professionals need to understand about college students. I also appreciated chapter authors who took a deeper dive into narrow topics – like the sophomore slump, how the campus physical environment exerts its own “ambient power,” the benefits to forming a book club for students, how college students struggle spelling difficult words, how on-campus animal-assisted activities influence final exam scores, and how students process grieving when a loved one dies during their college experience. This volume gives you the best of perspectives — the macro and the micro – and the chapters are expertly assembled. I also noticed and appreciated the diversity of methodological approaches used across the chapters. Some of the chapters serve as expert review chapters/updates on a particular topic, other chapters provide the literature review feature and also present new empirical data—quantitative, qualitative, case study, and mixed method approaches were utilized when new data were shared. When you have been in higher education as long as I have (32 years as I write this), there are times when you read a journal article or a book chapter and you are just as impressed by the curated reference citation list as you are by the prose of the text. That was true in many instances in reading this book, particularly for Chapters 5, 7, 13, and 15 – I’m not going to tell you the topics of those chapters in hopes of tempting you further to read the book. Let me also mention another feature of this book I really liked – every chapter has an abstract. I wish all edited books had an abstract or synopsis at the beginning of the chapter – I found that very useful. If you care about college students, you need to read this book. It will provide you with insights about the key areas surrounding college student success and stimulate new ideas about perspectives you may not have considered previously. Seventeen sets of chapter authors have provided you with up-to-date citations and conclusions in areas of importance. I am a fan of the “one good idea” (OGI) approach; that is, if I come away with truly one good idea from a conference, a journal article, a book – then that is a success because truly good ideas are hard to come by (in my opinion). So as I am reading Chapter 2 by Natalie Burick and Crystal Machado, not only do they report on the existing research on the “sophomore slump,” but they also conduct a qualitative study to better understand this phenomenon. They offer specific recommendations for sophomore student success based on the results of their study (presented on p. 29) – I’ve never this type of detailed, excellent recommendations before to specifically counter the sophomore slump. For me (at the very least) that’s my one good idea that I will take away from reading this edited book. What will be yours?”
R. Eric Landrum, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychological Science
Boise State University, Boise, ID

Science Teaching and Learning: Practices, Implementation and Challenges

“The organizations, corporations, and countries that can acquire human talent in various science disciplines may attain competitive advantages over others. They may contribute to the solving of hard problems. They may create monetizable products and services related to innovations. They may cobble capabilities that others may not. Science is a superpower that may be deployed to solve mass-scale challenges and meet the needs of society (and humanity). How to develop science knowledge and skills becomes an important question. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, in combination with other academic learning, is critical to societal advancement and the well-being of citizenry. Paul J. Hendricks, editor of Science Teaching and Learning: Practices, Implementation and Challenges, focuses on some effective practices for science teaching and learning from K12 through higher education. This book contributes some strong cues for improvement of science teaching and didactics in its five chapters. The respective researchers who contributed to this collection maintained high standards in their work and documented their ideas closely…READ MORE”
Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2020/Winter 2021)
Instructional Designer/Researcher
Kansas State University

Contextualizing Teaching to Improve Learning: The Case of Science and Geography

“Laurinda Leite, Luís Dourado, Ana S. Afonso, and Sofia Morgado’s Contextualizing Teaching to Improve Learning: The Case of Science and Geography makes the case for people integrating science knowledge, skills, and abilities into their daily lives as citizens and individuals. In the Foreword, Derek Hodson points to large-scale hard problems being faced by humanity: “deforestation and increasing desertification, acid rain, pollution of waterways, ozone depletion, climate change, soil loss, loss of biodiversity, exhaustion of many natural resources, explosive population growth” and societal disparities “in terms of income, access to proper housing, food and water security, educational opportunity, health care, freedom, justice and safety” (2017, p. vii). Together, these issues are referred to as Socio-Scientific Issues (SSI), and the idea is that area issues in one cannot be solved without the other. This edited collection makes a solid case for contextualizing science learning in a way that learners can see the relevance in their own daily lives and can apply the learning to their citizenship behaviors…READ MORE
Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Fall 2020/Winter 2021)
Instructional Designer/Researcher
Kansas State University

The Double Moon Drawing: An Instrument for Intervention and Research in Structurally Complex Family Situations

“I am delighted to endorse the publication of this book. The Double Moon Drawing (DMD) can be used in both clinical and research settings, facilitating the exploration and understanding of family boundaries and sense of belonging in structurally complex families. In particular, this symbolic-graphic tool allows the exploration of “absence”,  addressing how the subject deals with the loss or distancing of emotionally significant people. I have personally used the DMD, finding it a powerful and intuitive instrument, able to facilitate the participation of children and parents in the meaning-making process prompted by the clinician. Finally, the manuscript presents numerous clinical applications, which make it an invaluable resource for professionals working in the field of mental health. I strongly endorse the publication of this book, as I am confident it will make the application of the DMD more accessible and clinically sound.”
Tanya Lecchi, PhD
Anna Freud Centre
Kantor Centre of Excellence
London, England

The Double Moon Drawing: An Instrument for Intervention and Research in Structurally Complex Family Situations is, in my opinion, an innovative publication, filling a gap in the field with great benefit for clinical practice.”
Dr. Gabriella Gandino, Researcher and Family Therapist

“The ‘Double Moon’ drawing tool is a novel, clear and cogent model for understanding the applications of visual stories to (family) therapy and counselling.”
Dr. Lisa Fellin, Researcher and Family Therapist

“A real strength of the Double Moon is its accessibility. The voice of young children is often hard to obtain or is missed on many assessment methods. Through using creative methods, the perspectives and in turn voice of younger children is heard.”
Claire Harrison-Breed, Trauma Therapist

“Capturing meaning and sense that derive from conscious and unconscious dialogue, identifying some ‘complex/problematic’ family structures (children of divorced parents, foster or adoptive children, children that suffered a bereavement in the family) the DMD permits to get a precise focus on lealty/belonging conflict that follows any significant transformations of family environment.”
Giuseppe M. Festa, Specialist in Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapist

“Dr. Greco has developed the DMD, a new model of assessing families functioning theoretically well founded, easy to administer, clear in the scoring procedure. It is a highly valuable and reliable instrument both for researchers and clinical and mental health practitioners to analyze core relational dimensions of complex families.”
Camillo Regalia, Director of Families Studies and Research University Centre at Catholic University of Milan, Italy

“This book, which presents the Double Moon Drawing (DMD), is a promising work tool in clinical psychology and in psychological research. Its simplicity of use makes the DMD a brilliant instrument to get a meaningful picture of structurally complex families. I highly recommend this book to psychologists and health care professionals who like working with families and wish to do it well.”
Marco Cacioppo, Associate Professor in Dynamic and Clinical Psychology, Lumsa Univesity, Rome, Italy