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Wendy Saul has always been interested in how the questions we ask and the information we learn in one place connects to other ideas, problems and curiosities. Her hope in studying elementary education and teaching was to bring the excitement of liberal arts thinking—generalist thinking—to young people in public schools . Saul received her BA in English literature and composition from Knox College, her teaching credentials from the University of Chicago and her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She taught middle school on the Lower East Side of New York City; reading, writing and children’s and adolescent literature at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and International Studies and Education, largely to PhD students, at University of Missouri –St. Louis (UMSL). Her work overseas on active learning and critical thinking began in 199 in Eastern and Central Europe, and Central Asia. She tends to work in post-war-torn nations, most recently in Liberia, with CODE, a Canadian NGO where she has been a Board member for 10 years. She has also served as President of the International Book Bank and a Board member of the Rosendale Theatre in the Hudson Valley, NY where she currently lives. Saul describes herself as hopelessly curious—or is it nosey?—and as such, became interested in the world of science her husband and friends occupy and explore. Tying her own knowledge or literacy to her own and their interest in science, she forged relationships between the two disciplines that resulted in a number of books and National Science Foundation grants. (for instance Science Fare; Vital Connections: Children, Science and Books; Science Workshop; Beyond the Science Kit; Crossing Borders to Science and Literacy Instruction and Front-Page Science; as well as numerous articles and essays). Undoubtedly her greatest work-related pleasure comes from her exchanges with former students. This book is the result of years of conversations with Angela Kohnen.
What can we teach kids today that will have utility ten or fifteen years from now? Angela Kohnen and Wendy Saul propose an approach to information literacy that goes beyond the teaching of discreet, easily outdated skills. Instead they use activity to help students build identities as curious individuals empowered to ask their own questions and able to navigate their information-filled world in pursuit of credible answers.
A generalist is curious, open-minded, skeptical, and persistent in their quest for information. Thinking Like a Generalist: Skills for Navigating a Complex Worlddemonstrates what it means to take a generalist stance in instruction and provides a set of teaching tools to be able to pass those skills to students—skills that will transfer beyond the walls of the classroom.
Inside you’ll find the following:
A thorough introduction to what it means to be a “generalist”, and how to develop the practices and tools that help generalists navigate the world we live in
A focus on the teacher becoming a generalist and tips for modeling those practices in the classroom
Detailed instructions on how to write a unit of study that emphasizes generalist literacy skills and includes an overview and examples of five different units
How to use the authors’ read-aloud-think-aloud strategy to orient students to generalist tools and practices
The ideas, strategies, and examples in Thinking Like a Generalist will give you the tools to think like a generalist and then pass that knowledge on to your students, guiding them to become inquisitive, lifelong learners and preparing them for a future that we can’t yet imagine.
Mathematizing Children’s Literature
Sparking Connections, Joy, and Wonder Through Read-Alouds and Discussion