Proust and the Squid

Proust and the Squid
Author: Maryanne Wolf
Publisher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 336
Release: 2017-08-01
Genre: Education
ISBN: 0062010638

“Wolf restores our awe of the human brain—its adaptability, its creativity, and its ability to connect with other minds through a procession of silly squiggles.” — San Francisco Chronicle How do people learn to read and write—and how has the development of these skills transformed the brain and the world itself ? Neuropsychologist and child development expert Maryann Wolf answers these questions in this ambitious and provocative book that chronicles the remarkable journey of written language not only throughout our evolution but also over the course of a single child’s life, showing why a growing percentage have difficulty mastering these abilities. With fascinating down-to-earth examples and lively personal anecdotes, Wolf asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians is a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today’s technology-driven literacy, in which visual images on the screen are paving the way for a reduced need for written language—with potentially profound consequences for our future.

Proust and the Squid

Proust and the Squid
Author: Maryanne Wolf
Publisher: Harper Collins
Total Pages: 340
Release: 2008-08-26
Genre: Science
ISBN: 0060933844

"Human beings were never born to read," writes Tufts University cognitive neuroscientist and child development expert Maryanne Wolf. Reading is a human invention that reflects how the brain rearranges itself to learn something new. In this ambitious, provocative book, Wolf chronicles the remarkable journey of the reading brain not only over the past five thousand years, since writing began, but also over the course of a single child's life, showing in the process why children with dyslexia have reading difficulties and singular gifts. Lively, erudite, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid asserts that the brain that examined the tiny clay tablets of the Sumerians was a very different brain from the one that is immersed in today's technology-driven literacy. The potential transformations in this changed reading brain, Wolf argues, have profound implications for every child and for the intellectual development of our species.

Proust and the Squid

Proust and the Squid
Author: Maryanne Wolf
Publisher: Harper Collins
Total Pages: 324
Release: 2007-09-04
Genre: Science
ISBN: 0060186399

The act of reading is a miracle. Every new reader's brain possesses the extraordinary capacity to rearrange itself beyond its original abilities in order to understand written symbols. But how does the brain learn to read? As world-renowned cognitive neuroscientist and scholar of reading Maryanne Wolf explains in this impassioned book, we taught our brain to read only a few thousand years ago, and in the process changed the intellectual evolution of our species. Wolf tells us that the brain that examined tiny clay tablets in the cuneiform script of the Sumerians is configured differently from the brain that reads alphabets or of one literate in today's technology. There are critical implications to such an evolving brain. Just as writing reduced the need for memory, the proliferation of information and the particular requirements of digital culture may short-circuit some of written language's unique contributions—with potentially profound consequences for our future. Turning her attention to the development of the individual reading brain, Wolf draws on her expertise in dyslexia to investigate what happens when the brain finds it difficult to read. Interweaving her vast knowledge of neuroscience, psychology, literature, and linguistics, Wolf takes the reader from the brains of a pre-literate Homer to a literacy-ambivalent Plato, from an infant listening to Goodnight Moon to an expert reader of Proust, and finally to an often misunderstood child with dyslexia whose gifts may be as real as the challenges he or she faces. As we come to appreciate how the evolution and development of reading have changed the very arrangement of our brain and our intellectual life, we begin to realize with ever greater comprehension that we truly are what we read. Ambitious, provocative, and rich with examples, Proust and the Squid celebrates reading, one of the single most remarkable inventions in history. Once embarked on this magnificent story of the reading brain, you will never again take for granted your ability to absorb the written word.

Reader, Come Home

Reader, Come Home
Author: Maryanne Wolf
Publisher: HarperCollins
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2018-08-14
Genre: Science
ISBN: 0062388797

The author of the acclaimed Proust and the Squid follows up with a lively, ambitious, and deeply informative book that considers the future of the reading brain and our capacity for critical thinking, empathy, and reflection as we become increasingly dependent on digital technologies. A decade ago, Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid revealed what we know about how the brain learns to read and how reading changes the way we think and feel. Since then, the ways we process written language have changed dramatically with many concerned about both their own changes and that of children. New research on the reading brain chronicles these changes in the brains of children and adults as they learn to read while immersed in a digitally dominated medium. Drawing deeply on this research, this book comprises a series of letters Wolf writes to us—her beloved readers—to describe her concerns and her hopes about what is happening to the reading brain as it unavoidably changes to adapt to digital mediums. Wolf raises difficult questions, including: Will children learn to incorporate the full range of "deep reading" processes that are at the core of the expert reading brain? Will the mix of a seemingly infinite set of distractions for children’s attention and their quick access to immediate, voluminous information alter their ability to think for themselves? With information at their fingertips, will the next generation learn to build their own storehouse of knowledge, which could impede the ability to make analogies and draw inferences from what they know? Will all these influences change the formation in children and the use in adults of "slower" cognitive processes like critical thinking, personal reflection, imagination, and empathy that comprise deep reading and that influence both how we think and how we live our lives? How can we preserve deep reading processes in future iterations of the reading brain? Concerns about attention span, critical reasoning, and over-reliance on technology are never just about children—Wolf herself has found that, though she is a reading expert, her ability to read deeply has been impacted as she has become increasingly dependent on screens. Wolf draws on neuroscience, literature, education, and philosophy and blends historical, literary, and scientific facts with down-to-earth examples and warm anecdotes to illuminate complex ideas that culminate in a proposal for a biliterate reading brain. Provocative and intriguing, Reader, Come Home is a roadmap that provides a cautionary but hopeful perspective on the impact of technology on our brains and our most essential intellectual capacities—and what this could mean for our future.

Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century

Tales of Literacy for the 21st Century
Author: Maryanne Wolf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 192
Release: 2016-07-21
Genre: Literary Criticism
ISBN: 0191036137

The Literary Agenda is a series of short polemical monographs about the importance of literature and of reading in the wider world and about the state of literary education inside schools and universities. The category of 'the literary' has always been contentious. What is clear, however, is how increasingly it is dismissed or is unrecognised as a way of thinking or an arena for thought. It is sceptically challenged from within, for example, by the sometimes rival claims of cultural history, contextualized explanation, or media studies. It is shaken from without by even greater pressures: by economic exigency and the severe social attitudes that can follow from it; by technological change that may leave the traditional forms of serious human communication looking merely antiquated. For just these reasons this is the right time for renewal, to start reinvigorated work into the meaning and value of literary reading. Being Literate in the 21st Century wrestles with critical, timely questions for 21st-century society. How does literacy change the human brain? What does it mean to be a literate or a non-literate person in the present digital culture: for example, what will be lost in the present reading brain, and what will be gained with different mediums than print? What are the consequences of a digital reading brain for the literary mind and for writing itself ? Can knowledge about the reading brain and advances in technology offer new forms of literacy and new forms of knowledge to the peoples in remote regions of the world who would never otherwise become literate? By using both research from cognitive neuroscience, psycholinguistics, child development, and education, and considering literary examples from world literature, Maryanne Wolf plots a course that seeks to preserve the deepest forms of reading from the past, while developing the cognitive skills necessary for this century's next generation.

Contact Wounds

Contact Wounds
Author: Jonathan Kaplan
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Total Pages: 361
Release: 2007-12-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 1555846599

From the author of the New York Times Notable Book, The Dressing Station: “A gripping memoir” of a doctor’s education on the battlefield (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). Inspired by his father’s time as a military surgeon in World War II, Jonathan Kaplan became a doctor and was appointed to a post at a woefully understaffed South African general hospital in a black township. Fleeing apartheid, he traveled the globe in search of sanctuary, experiencing riots, tropical fevers, political upheaval, and a jungle search for a lost friend. Kaplan eventually landed in Angola, taking charge of a combat-zone hospital, the only surgeon for 160,000 civilians, where he was exposed daily to the horrors of warfare. This “revealing” memoir unflinchingly captures the experiences of a man who’s devoted his career and his life to saving people caught in the crossfire of war (Los Angeles Times). “[Kaplan] tells stories with the rawness and incomprehensibility of life itself. His words transport the reader to places most would fear to go.” —Publishers Weekly

Tap, Click, Read

Tap, Click, Read
Author: Lisa Guernsey
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Total Pages: 304
Release: 2015-08-14
Genre: Education
ISBN: 1119091756

A guide to promoting literacy in the digital age With young children gaining access to a dizzying array of games, videos, and other digital media, will they ever learn to read? The answer is yes—if they are surrounded by adults who know how to help and if they are introduced to media designed to promote literacy, instead of undermining it. Tap, Click, Read gives educators and parents the tools and information they need to help children grow into strong, passionate readers who are skilled at using media and technology of all kinds—print, digital, and everything in between. In Tap, Click, Read authors Lisa Guernsey and Michael H. Levine envision a future that is human-centered first and tech-assisted second. They document how educators and parents can lead a new path to a place they call 'Readialand'—a literacy-rich world that marries reading and digital media to bring knowledge, skills, and critical thinking to all of our children. This approach is driven by the urgent need for low-income children and parents to have access to the same 21st-century literacy opportunities already at the fingertips of today's affluent families.With stories from homes, classrooms and cutting edge tech labs, plus accessible translation of new research and compelling videos, Guernsey and Levine help educators, parents, and America's leaders tackle the questions that arise as digital media plays a larger and larger role in children's lives, starting in their very first years of life. Tap, Click, Read includes an analysis of the exploding app marketplace and provides useful information on new review sites and valuable curation tools. It shows what to avoid and what to demand in today's apps and e-books—as well as what to seek in community preschools, elementary schools and libraries. Peppered with the latest research from fields as diverse as neuroscience and behavioral economics and richly documented examples of best practices from schools and early childhood programs around the country, Tap, Click, Read will show you how to: Promote the adult-child interactions that help kids grow into strong readers Learn how to use digital media to build a foundation for reading and success Discover new tools that open up avenues for creativity, critical thinking, and knowledge-building that today's children need The book's accompanying website keeps you updated on new research and provides vital resources to help parents, schools and community organizations.

The Lost Art of Reading

The Lost Art of Reading
Author: David L. Ulin
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
Total Pages: 192
Release: 2018-09-04
Genre: Literary Criticism
ISBN: 1632171953

The new introduction and afterword bring fresh relevance to this insightful rumination on the act of reading--as a path to critical thinking, individual and political identity, civic engagement, and resistance. The former LA Times book critic expands his short book, rich in ideas, on the consequence of reading to include the considerations of fake news, siloed information, and the connections between critical thinking as the key component of engaged citizenship and resistance. Here is the case for reading as a political act in both public and private gestures, and for the ways it enlarges the world and our frames of reference, all the while keeping us engaged.

How We Learn

How We Learn
Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 369
Release: 2021-02-02
Genre: Science
ISBN: 0525559906

“There are words that are so familiar they obscure rather than illuminate the thing they mean, and ‘learning’ is such a word. It seems so ordinary, everyone does it. Actually it’s more of a black box, which Dehaene cracks open to reveal the awesome secrets within.”--The New York Times Book Review An illuminating dive into the latest science on our brain's remarkable learning abilities and the potential of the machines we program to imitate them The human brain is an extraordinary learning machine. Its ability to reprogram itself is unparalleled, and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent developments in artificial intelligence. But how do we learn? What innate biological foundations underlie our ability to acquire new information, and what principles modulate their efficiency? In How We Learn, Stanislas Dehaene finds the boundary of computer science, neurobiology, and cognitive psychology to explain how learning really works and how to make the best use of the brain’s learning algorithms in our schools and universities, as well as in everyday life and at any age.

Reading in the Brain

Reading in the Brain
Author: Stanislas Dehaene
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2009-11-12
Genre: Science
ISBN: 1101152400

A renowned cognitive neuroscientist?s fascinating and highly informative account of how the brain acquires reading How can a few black marks on a white page evoke an entire universe of sounds and meanings? In this riveting investigation, Stanislas Dehaene provides an accessible account of the brain circuitry of reading and explores what he calls the ?reading paradox?: Our cortex is the product of millions of years of evolution in a world without writing, so how did it adapt to recognize words? Reading in the Brain describes pioneering research on how we process language, revealing the hidden logic of spelling and the existence of powerful unconscious mechanisms for decoding words of any size, case, or font. Dehaene?s research will fascinate not only readers interested in science and culture, but also educators concerned with debates on how we learn to read, and who wrestle with pathologies such as dyslexia. Like Steven Pinker, Dehaene argues that the mind is not a blank slate: Writing systems across all cultures rely on the same brain circuits, and reading is only possible insofar as it fits within the limits of a primate brain. Setting cutting-edge science in the context of cultural debate, Reading in the Brain is an unparalleled guide to a uniquely human ability.