If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed a gradual transition from a focus on educational issues to a focus on book reviews. Actually I have not dropped my interest in developmentally appropriate education, and you will continue to see posts on that topic in the future.
I began “Education Pathways” when I retired from teaching and still had a lot to say about education. As I read the blogging efforts of others, I discovered many (mostly retired) educators saying a lot of the same things that I was saying. Suddenly I was not the lone voice speaking up for children. What happened? Part of the reason for this phenomena was certainly that I had more time to read when I was not wasting time trying to please administrators who had really strange ideas, provided for the most part by highly profitable businesses, about what is good for children. The other big factor is that a large number of frustrated teachers with lots of years of experience all said “No!” at about the same time: “No, we will not go down this insane path that is damaging to children any more.” With retirement, we found our voice because we no longer were threatened and intimidated by our employers. The result was a huge increase in the anti-CCSS (Common Core State Standards), anti-overtesting, anti-VAM (Value Added Model of teacher evaluation) blogging world.
At about the same time, I moved to Mexico (mostly) and discovered netgalley.com* which lets me preview books written in English, in an electronic format, for publishers in exchange for reviews. After a few rusty efforts, I began flexing my critiquing joints and discovered that I really like recording my thoughts about books. So, I set out on a different education pathway that involves reading and which I think intertwines quite nicely with my original focus of developmentally appropriate education.
In the future you will see posts about education and reviews of books for children with discussions of how they might be used with children. You can also expect reviews of books for adults which are soon to be released as well as a few from my own collection or e-books from the Gutenberg Project. My reviews contain little in the way of summaries. Those are readily available from the publisher, online bookstores, and Goodreads. I prefer instead to present my personal reflections on and reactions to a book. Since I can choose my reading material, I will only choose books I think I will like. For example, I won’t be reading and reviewing a horror novel, but suspense and mystery will certainly have a place. Please join me in the world of books as I continue the education that never ends.
*Many thanks to my daughter Tara for introducing me to netgalley.com. She immediately recognized the problem I would have in Mexico of feeding my reading addiction and provided such a wonderful solution which has blossomed into reviewing as well.