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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Adult Book Club 2011/12

Are you interested in becoming a book clubber extraordinaire?  Come and join the HCS Learning Commons and discuss books together. 

What kind of books do we read?  Educational, spiritual, biographies, life journeys, technical innovations in education and more, in non –fiction.

Who can join?  Any adult worker within HCS staff, office, admin teaching or other.

When do we meet?  Our first meeting will take place in November around the time of our regional meeting.

Where:  On Skype or Elluminate. 

What do you need?  A copy of the book we are reading, and a good set of headphones with mic.  Bring a  keen sense of conversation, and desire for professional growth and collaboration.

The books we are reading this term include the following:

Who Moved my Cheeze, by Spencer Johnson.

Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, published in 1998, is a Who Moved My Cheese?Image via Wikipediamotivational book by Spencer Johnson written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one's work and life, and four typical reactions to said change by two mice and two "little people", during their hunt for cheese. A New York Times business bestseller since it’s release, Who Moved My Cheese? remained on the list for almost five years and spent over 200 weeks on Publishers Weekly's hardcover nonfiction list.

Living at the Crossroads, by  Michael Goheen
Living at the Crossroads first lays out a brief summary of the biblical story and the most fundamental beliefs of Scripture. The book then tells the story of Western culture from the classical period to postmodernity. Authors Michael Goheen and Craig Bartholomew next analyze how Christians live in the tension that exists at the intersection of the biblical and cultural stories. They proceed to tease out the implications for key areas of life, such as education, scholarship, economics, politics, and church. The result is a deeply thoughtful yet approachable text that draws on the rich tradition of Reformational thinking but contextualizes it to a postmodern setting for a contemporary audience.

Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen.Adapting the monolithicImage by ecastro via Flickr
It's no secret that people learn in different ways, so why, the authors of this book ask, "can't schools customize their teaching?" The current system, "designed for standardization," must by its nature ignore the individual needs of each student. The answer to this problem, the authors argue, is "disruptive innovation," a principle introduced (and initially applied to business) by Harvard Business School professor Christensen in The Innovator's Dilemma. The idea is that an audience in need will benefit from even a faulty opportunity to fulfill that need; in education, the demand for individual instruction could be met through infinitely customizable online computer-based instruction. The authors, all professionals in education, present a solution to the ills of standardized education that's visionary but far-fetched; even they admit that their recommendations would be extremely difficult to implement in current school systems. Still, the authors' unusual case, though occasionally bogged down in tangents, is worthy reading for school administrators, teachers, parents and, perhaps most of all, software developers.

To know as We are Known, by Parker Palmer.
This is a classic essay by one of the outstanding educational thinkers of our time. Parker Palmer was a student of Robert Bellah (Habits of the Heart) and shares Bellah’s deep concern for modern society’s loss of community and shared, sustaining values. He is also a spiritual seeker who was affiliated for several years with the Quaker retreat center Pendle Hill. To Know as We are Known expresses these concerns in lyrical, heartfelt prose. Palmer examines the modern tendency to objectify knowledge in order to “divide and conquer creation” and demonstrates that this is a fundamentally alienating and violent way to conceive the world. He proposes, instead, that true knowledge involves a mutual relationship between person and world — a relationship which calls upon us as individuals, and as a culture, to approach our experience with humility, reverence, imagination, and feeling. Holistic knowing is deep self-knowlege that engages the person morally and spiritually with the life around oneself.

Finding Harmony, by Sally Hyder
A keen mountaineer, Sally Hyder was in her prime and loving life. She shared her passion for climbing with her partner Andrew and it was a dream come true when Andrew proposed at Everest Base Camp. For them, climbing mountains made anything seem possible and represented their attitude to life. But a year after Sally and Andrew were married Sally was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She was only 28 and was training to be a Macmillan nurse - she wanted to care for the terminally ill. But Sally was determined the disease wouldn't slow her down: she went back to work looking after others and, despite warnings that her condition could deteriorate in pregnancy, went on to have three beautiful children. But it was when her youngest child Melissa was diagnosed with severe autism that Sally began to spiral into depression. Sally felt guilty about the pressures faced by her elder daughter Clara in her role as a carer. Sally worried that she was missing out on the freedom of childhood.She needed help. Unsure who to turn to, she happened upon Canine Partners and an extraordinary dog called Harmony. They formed an instant bond; Harmony can perform over 100 chores - from putting groceries into the trolley to handing over Sally's purse at the till. Harmony is an unending source of comfort: she intuitively knows when Sally is in pain and calms Melissa when she suffers panic attacks. Harmony has given Sally the ability to start living once more, and become a mother again in her own way. She has shown Sally that the sky's the limit and, with a taste for independence that she hadn't felt since her mountaineering days, Sally's sights are set on the peaks of Ben Nevis once more.In August 2010 Sally planned to climb the hardest of the Munro Mountains. Sadly her attempt was thwarted after her motorised wheelchair short-circuited. But Sally is a fighter and is training for her second attempt, which she will complete with her husband by her side. And Harmony too, of course.

To register for the adult book club click here!

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