In the best selling Mind at a Time, Mel Levine reports that children’s learning is complex and varying depending on the nature of their brain. By using his abundance experience at the Children’s Hospital, and as an educator, Levine writes a book that targets a larger audience on children is learning strategies. The book uses the concept of objective observation that allows the children and parents to tell their stories. In addition to using observation, the book also employs a wide range of research available from writings of many people such as Howard’s concept of emotional intelligence, and many other conventional scholars. Levine describes the workings of the human brain, which he exploits to find a way of helping students learn better. In my view, the book accomplishes the original goal of providing a reroute for analyzing the mind development (p.15).
Contrary’s to Goleman’s emotional intelligence, Levine premises his work on the argument that human minds are not the same. He asserts that the preposition that human minds are equal should not be tolerated. The assumption of equality makes adults put undeserving pressure on the children to perform even when it is beyond their intellectual capability. In the p. 23 of the Mind at a Time, Levine writes, “it is taken for a granted in adult society that we cannot all be generalists skilled in every area of learning and mastery.” While the general society accepst this fact, we have refused to accept that our kids learning also follow the same route (p.23). He argues that while some students face difficulties in school, the challenges are not tantamount to disabilities or learning deficiencies. Instead, he acknowledges that learners possess differences that are numerous than their similarities. Helping students require that we exploit mechanisms that are preemptive and combative. Labeling students with terms like “learning disables” or ADH victim is undermining and restrictive to the child’s development. A comprehensive analysis of the child’s problems and a detailed description of the child challenge offer a better way of helping the child go through the obstacle, as opposed to the easy labels.
The book also explores the concept of “neurodevelopment systems”. The neuro developments systems are comprised of about eight smaller systems. These systems are highly dependent on one another. The strength of each system plays a critical role in and out of the school for the children (p.30). Usually, when we think of memory, we think of the long-term memory without considering the importance of the short-term memory in the existence of the long-term memory. There is the need to realize that the long-term memory cannot function without the presence of short term and long-term memory. In the book, Levine discusses the different forms of memories while highlighting the fundamental theories that shape the workings of memories and how they relate to one another. In addition to highlighting the workings of the human memory, Levine argues that determining the children’s strengths requires that we understand the workings of the brain by giving children tasks that give a better understanding of their strengths and weakness.
In chapter ten and eleven focuses the concept of management by profile system. Levine describes this system as a “logical and systematic approach to education care of kids” (p.277). The profile highlights some of the acute problems that students face and documents some ways getting their positives even from the problems that they face. According to Levine, there are six points where learning challenges. These six aspects require evaluation and analysis, they include, trouble-mastering skills, the acquisition of facts of knowledge, the concept of understanding, the systematic approach to facts, and the ways of handling the numbers and rates of demands. While using this concept, educators must realize that educational needs of the child of the children vary.
A child with strong mental energy and excellent language skills differs from the child with an attention challenge and organizational deficiency.
Chapter 12 documents ways in which parents can play a critical role in developing their children cognitive growth. According to Levine, parents can assist children learn by knowing their children and helping them develop their strengths. Levine argues that helping children requires that society tolerate that there are people with different minds. He argues that lot more focus should be bestowed on enhancing the concept differential learning that employs different strategies for different children. This method allows children to have a choice of what works best for them. In general, I think that Levine does a remarkable job and accomplishes his goal of developing a new strategy that helps children understand and help children become successful. This is an indispensable book for everyone working with children. Contemporarily, there has been burgeoning of interest in natural studies of cognition. Some scholars have argued for emphasizing the continuity of linking memory and other aspects of cognition. I think that Levine provides a middle ground that does capture even thinking of nonprofessionals.
Levine, M. (2002) A Mind at a Time. New York. Simon & Schuster Publishers.