Magazine article Montessori Life

Mind in the Making

Magazine article Montessori Life

Mind in the Making

Article excerpt

Mind in the Making Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs By Ellen Galinsky New York: HarperCollins, 2010 Paperback: $16.99

Ellen Galinsky is co-founder and president of the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and former president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); she is slated to give the Dr. Nancy McCormick Rambusch Lecture at the AMS 2011 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. She holds a master's degree in science in child development from Bank Street College of Education and a bachelor of arts degree in child study from Vassar College. In her new book, Mind in The Making, Galinsky introduces a sevenpart model of "life skills" and recommends that we facilitate the development of these skills in young children.

At FWI, Galinsky directs the national Mind in the Making learning campaign (www.mindinthemaking.org), which includes the book, an associated "vook" (video book), learning modules for early childhood teachers and families, online videos, a DVD of cutting-edge child development research, community mobilization efforts, and major media partnerships.

Galinsky's research and experience combine with a dynamically synthesized survey of others' research to offer a rich complement of scientific data from which conclusions and suggestions are drawn. And others in the know are clearly interested in what Galinsky has to say; she has spoken at the White House in 1997, 2000, and 2010.

Maria Montessori recommended we orient every part of our lives to assisting children in their development. It is this that I find most striking about the Families and Work Institute. In producing research that is used by governmental and corporate entities on a regular basis to help shape life for working families in our country, FWI actively and consistently integrates the needs of youth and early childhood as part of its work.

In her book, Galinsky identifies seven essential life skills:

1. Focus and Self-Control

2. Perspective Taking

3. Communicating

4. Making Connections

5. Critical Thinking

6. Taking on Challenges

7. Self- Directed, Engaged Learning

Each chapter focuses on a single skill and includes research to back up claims, individual parent stories, exercises for the reader, and specific recommendations for actions to take to assist children in developing each skill. …

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