Thursday, May 28, 2009

New World Kids, The Parents' Guide to Creative Thinking

We're entering a time of sweeping change when innovation is not just valuable, but vital. Today's children will be pivotal in inventing our future-and that future starts now, with the skills, tools and competency they learn today. Authors and educators Susan Marcus and Susie Monday offer an approach to childhood education that encourages creative thinking processes, the capacity to invent with many media, the ability to think across disciplines and a reliance on the imagination.
Built on decades of applied research, "New World Kids: The Parents' Guide to Creative Thinking" (Foundry Media, 2009, 978-0-615-19060-0, $14.95), is a handbook for developing young minds to learn and grow in a future requiring visual literacy and innovative skills. Marcus and Monday demystify the often misunderstood territory of creativity, offering parents everyday activities to help kids discover their individual creative abilities.

"We tend to view creative achievement as a mysterious process, or another magical matter of talent," they write in "New World Kids." "It's not a matter of chance or talent or luck, creative thinking is a matter of focus and practice. Like reading, it's a skill that is learned by doing.

"Just as the traditional alphabet is used to teach reading and writing, the Sensory Alphabet-line, color, texture, movements, sounds, rhythm, space, light and shape-is the foundation of creative literacy and the basis of our sensory connection to the world. The Sensory Alphabet enhances a child's ability to understand, symbolize and communicate ideas, which are all crucial skills in our digital media world of pictures, icons, sound and video.

New World Kids covers topics such as:

  • "The Sensory Alphabet: Nine essential elements for creative literacy
  • How to mentor children through the creative process
  • How to raise innovative kids for the 21st century
  • How to help kids find their creativity, passion at an early age
  • How to design your home as a space for ideas
  • Incorporating media and play into the learning process

Marcus and Monday were co-founders of the Learning About Learning Educational Foundation, a Texas-based institution that conducted applied research in creativity, individuality, media and play. Visit for more information.
As a Mom and Teacher I understand the importance of helping my children as well as my students explore their creative side. Creativity continues to be very difficult to teach or even measure in children. It is very rare to come across a valuable resource that just focusing on teaching creativity. So I was thrilled to receive a copy of this great book to review. This is a very useful resource that we highly recommend for all parents and teachers. It provides great tips and activities that offer a new kind of hope for our children by helping them to reach their creative potential!


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