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Annotated Academe Books Bibliography (N = 19)



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Suggested Citation: Jung, B.C. (1999 - 2017). Annotated Academe Books Bibliography.
Web document: http://www.geocities.com/bettycjung/Academe.htm

Babbie, E. (1998). The Practice of Social Research. 8th Edition. CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. THE "BIBLE" OF SOCIAL RESEARCH. Eight editions should tell you it has to be good to last this long. Virtually found on every campus bookstore I've visited (on both coasts and at midwestern universities in-between) for more than one discipline in some universities. Unlike the proliferation of statistics books (different books for different sections in the same university), Babbie provides the philosophical, theoretical and practical basis for conducting social research. If you want to learn about Research, read Babbie. And if you want to conduct research, there is no finer comprehensive text.

Bauerlein, M. (2009). The Dumbest Generation. How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. NY: Penguin Group. An educator takes a serious look at the misplaced optimism current educators have for the promises of Technology in salvaging our educational system. Bauerlein contends that all these computers have not really enhanced the learning environment for the younger generation but has really diluted the quest for knowledge.

I found this book to be extremely insightful and do agree with the author on many aspects of Education that he advances. For example, Technology's love for niche knowledge (p. 34) has really denigrated the importance that we all should cultivate a reservoir of general knowledge. Like most areas of professional development, the push for specialty-based knowledge silos serves only to exclude those not in the know while at the same time destroy any possibility of communication, which is a travesty of modern society.

His contention that facility in computer usage does not necessarily mean students today are better thinkers, rather they are so unfocused that they have forgotten what it's like to think long and hard as well as linerally on any thought so that "teenagers and 20-year-olds appear at the same time so mentallyy agile and culturally ignorant." (p. 95).

Perhaps, those technologically-challenged (those older than 25) should stop surrendering to unproven promises of Technology and get back to really educating the next generation to think critically and compassionately about Life. The best message Bauerlein gives is the importance of reading in developing the knowledge with which to learn. Yes, reading a book all the way through can do more for developing the thinking skills necessary to live a productive life than spending all your leisure time playing games and watching videos on your computer. Read this book!

Carr, Nicholas (2011). The Shallows. What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains NY: WW Norton & Company. I bought the softcover edition of this book when it came out in 2011. As I write this, it is January 2, 2017, although I did finish reading this in 2016. It took me 5 1/2 months to read this not because I am a slow reader, but because everything that Carr says about the Internet is sadly true. As much as I wanted to read this book I just didn't find the time to read it for years though I was totally engaged and enmeshed when I did read it, yet, it took me this long because the Internet is the reason why we give into distraction so easily. It is just so simple to find things to stimulate us online.

Carr makes an excellent case for how the Internet is really ruining what is most precious to our well-being, and that's the need to reflect and meditate about our lives. To make sense of what is most important to us. And, this requires focus and hard work on our brain's part. It was hard enough to do this pre-Internet, and it is nearly impossible to do that now. It is just so easy to power up our devices and let those infernal machines take us where they will.

Perhaps, the damage that the Internet is doing to our minds and our lives may not be apparent until we are old and trying to make sense of it all to then only find we no longer know how to do that anymore. Everything is meaningless as are all those thousands of selfies we have on our phones when we won't even remember the time, place or circumstances surrounding when they were taken. Thousands of jpegs representing memories we never really had. If this is frightening to you, then it will be worth your time to see what Carr has to say and show you what research is showing as well. The book may be 6 years old, but it is somewhat prescient, in retrospect, and a harbinger of what we can prevent by recapturing the gift of focus. And, that the fact that I have taken the time to write this means all is not lost, we can if we really want to.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity. Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. A great follow-up to his ground breaking, Flow (read that first), which discusses his almost common-sense concept of "Flow" - what you experience when you are at your very best - a lost of time. Of course, he's not talking about the mind numbing and altering existence of bad habits and health-destroying addictions. Rather "how time flies when you're having fun" experience. In this book he tries to find this in a group of people he defines as creative individuals. Not always a "perfect fit" between theory and reality, but nevertheless a fine read. It was interesting how he did manage to find some common threads in terms of traits shared by a bunch, I think, of overachievers (what they would be called by some other theorist). I read this book slowly because I didn't want it to end, okay?

Fuller, R.W. (2004). Somebodies and Nobodies. Overcoming the Abuse of Rank. Canada: New Society Publishers. A former college president takes fanciful, somewhat idealistic stabs at advancing his cerebral rebellion against mankind's need for structure in its imperfect caste system he calls rankism, in which those with higher rank abuse those with lesser rank. Trying to work his theory into every conceivable paradigm actually confuses the issues and does not make a credible case for the dignity we all should have, regardless of where we are. Of course, it's a case of "he-doth-protest-too-much" when this is the only book I have ever come across that needed 30 accolades (27 in the front to support the 3 on the back cover)to convince readers the book is worth reading. If he truly believed that rankism has no place in our lives, then why should the reader care what anyone (many who would be considered prestigious) has to say about the book? Doesn't he trust the judgment of the comman person to choose intelligently what is good for the mind???

Gigerenzer, G. (2002). Calculated Risks. How To Know When Numbers Deceive You NY: Simon & Shuster MacMillan Co. An excellent book that introduces you to a better way of understanding statistics. Yes, it is possible to present statistical information in an easy-to-understand format that can be used for decision-making. The author's premise that presenting risk in natural frequencies is the right way to talk about risk is well-supported by examples and explanation. I think this book would be more useful if he also presented a curriculum with which schools and universities can incorporate his ideas into teaching math and statistics from elementary all the way into professional schools (i.e., medicine, law, etc.). Great promise for improving Public Health risk communication, too. Nothing is worst than people trying to fog you with statistics when they themselves don't even understand what they are saying!!! A must read.

Gronlund, N.E. (1998). Assessment of Student Achievement. 6th Edition Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. An excellent, comprehensive, how-to book about how to evaluate students. Good coverage on how to develop multiple choice exams (or, multiple guess), and conducting performance assessments. Don't miss if you have to give out grades.

Gronlund, N.E. (1993). How to Make Achievement Tests and Assessments. Fifth Edition. A basic how-to book in developing valid and reliable tests and how to use tests to assess success in education. Good chapter on how to evaluate your test instrument for reliability and how to report on test results.

Howard, P.K. (1994). The Death of Common Sense. How Law is Suffocating America. NY: Random House. A scathing insider's look at the corruption of Justice by man-made attempts to mold it in Man's own image. Or, how laws are doing injustice to the noble concept of Justice. It would take a lawyer to take the law into his own hands... For any public servant who has tried to work within the ever-convoluted limitations of constantly changing statutes and regulations, this book should come as no great revelation that the system does not work - and it's not their fault. Don't even think about health policy....

Kennedy, D. (1997). Academic Duty. MA: Harvard University Press. The former president of Stanford University defines the mission, goals and objectives of Higher Education in the form of 10 duties. Excellent insight into what academia is all about, rather, should be. Challenges you to rethink what higher education should achieve. Don't miss this one. Great companion to Gilbert Highet's Art of Teaching.

Kohn, H. (1992). From Archetype to Zietgeist. MA: Little, Brown and Co. A dictionary you can enjoy reading! Covers the general ideas and concepts in the major academic disciplinary areas. You will find explanations for such overused terms as deconstruction, stylistics, anachronism, to name a few.

Kimball, M.A. (2003). The Web Portfolio Guide. Creating Electronic Portfolios for the Web. NY: Longman. A manual that tries to meet the needs of several audiences - students, graduates and teachers - on how to create an online portfolio. Though Kimball devotes only one chapter to the academic professional, the entire book reads like it was meant for the teacher rather than for students. For sure, to make the most of this textbook, if it were to be used in class, the teacher must be Net-saavy enough to provide the technical expertise needed to make the most of the manual. Though repetitious on some points, it does provide a sequential approach to the planning, designing and revising of a Web portfolio, and does provide information about graphics and the hands-on tasks needed to keep the portfolio current. Provides insight on what to think about in putting together any portfolio (now being preferred over just a mere resume or CV for some professions) to show off what you can do to a potential employer.

Kozol, J. (2007). Letters to a Young Teacher NY: Crown Publishers. This is a wonderful collection of letters written by a seasoned educator who has not gotten too jaded by all the experiences he has had dealing with various educational systems. You can almost hear Kozol tenderly cajoling a young teacher to not lose her idealism and to continue to nurture young minds to be forever curious about learning. Given the state of the current educational system, much can be learned from what Kozol advocates when it comes to education reform. If you are interested in education, this is really worth reading.

McCourt, Frank. (2006). Teacher Man. A NY: Scribner. McCourt returns to the writing style that made Angela's Ashes so popular, and goes a little more in-depth about being a teacher for 30 years in the New York City School system. He finally finds his niche in teaching creative writing, but doesn't reach this epiphany until his marriage ends and he is close to 50. Though he seemed to have wasted away much of his life lost in his inability to find meaningfulness in what he did, he is nevertheless inspiring because he knows how to weave a good tale from observing what is happening around him. Teachers and would-be teachers should read this to gain some insight into what it's like to teach in inner-city schools. He was fortunate to have had the support of parents who wanted a better life for their kids.

Niederman, D., & Boyum, D. (2003). What the Numbers Say. A Field Guide to Mastering our Numerical World. NY: Broadway Books. Two mathematicians try their hardest to put a light spin on the serious subject of critical mathematical thinking skills. Most of the book is quite entertaining and insightful, but be prepared for a serious discussion about math curriculum reform. I do agree with the authors that kids should know basic arithmetic before touching a calculator. I would take one step further and suggest that life math skills be mandatory for all high school graduates. If there is one thing every high school graduate will need to know is how to manage money, which is practical numbers that requires some common sense as well. Is it too much to ask that an 18 year-old know how to balance a checkbook, maintain a savings account, use a credit card judiciously and do an annual tax return? This is a great book about why it is so important to develop an intelligent appreciation of how to use math to enrich our lives

Seldin, P. & Associates. (1999). Changing Practices in Evaluating Teaching. Boston, MA: Anker Publishing Co., Inc. Excellent coverage about how teachers are being evaluated today, from students to deans. Excellent samples of evaluation forms that you can use to conduct your own classroom evaluations.

Seldin, P. & Associates. (1995). Improving College Teaching. Boston, MA: Anker Publishing Co., Inc. Education experts share their experiences about how to make teaching better than when you first started with all that enthusiasm...

Shenk, David. (1997). Data Smog. NY:HarperCollins Publishers. Basically, an eloquent journalist obsessing over the possible implications of a highly technical society on his trade. More seriously, an entertaining book about the curses rather than the blessings of Technology, more specifically, the double-edged sword of Internet access. What Shenk refers to as information is really data, and data are only as useful as our interpretation of them. It will make you think twice about what we take for granted as a wealth of information is really impoverishing our quality of life.

Sykes, Charles J. (1988). ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education. An unvarnished critique of academia and how it has failed to fulfill its mission. Not exactly what we like to learn about how our tuition gets wasted by the politics of education, but you will become a better consumer of educational products nevertheless.


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Published on the Web: October 24, 2000; February 22, 2001
Updated: 1/1/2017 R71
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