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Book Review: Brave New Schools: Challenging Cultural Illiteracy Through Global Learning Networks by Dr. James Cummings and Dr. Dennis Sayers

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Brave New Schools: Challenging Cultural Illiteracy Through Global Learning Networks  by James Cummings and Dr. Dennis Sayers is an excellent book which explains how illiteracy can be dealt with more effectively through the efficient use of tools like the internet. Since Plato, educators have come to appreciate that literacy expands the human consciousness.

The authors discuss such matters as job related skills, reasons for failing student scores, the impact of poverty on education, instructional methodologies to reverse underachievement, cultural literacy, and much more.

The presentation covers the links between education and cultural identity with explanations of the need to transition from the Euro-centric curriculum to a more inclusive Afro-Asian inclusive curriculum.

The authors discuss symbolic analysis. This analysis requires abstraction, system thinking, experimental inquiry, and collaboration.  Abstraction requires conceptualization, whereas system thinking requires a well-defined process of inquiry in iterative steps to arrive at a methodology to solve difficult problems.
Experimental inquiry involves testing and data gathering to arrive at inferences
while collaboration involves subjecting ideas to a group discussion.

There are implications for future study which the book could explore. Examples are behavioral aspects like setting boundaries with friends/associates, creating a quiet environment for concentration, goal congruency, measurement, and goal setting.  Above all, students must learn how to cope with life, as early as possible in the education experience.

Throughout the education experience, students from all income groups have had trouble coping with the behavioral aspects to be mastered in order to succeed academically. Conquering these behavioral negations will require that students develop coping skills at an earlier age.

Brave New Schools is an excellent resource for beginning a badly needed conversation on improving educational outcomes. This work can be enhanced with a discussion of important coping mechanisms so that students can accomplish the meritable goals set forth.

About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.