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What If Everybody Understood Child Development?

Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children's Lives
By: Rae Pica
Sure to inspire discussion, these 29 thought-provoking essays take an unflinching look at controversial topics including the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781483381848
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2015
  • Page Count: 160
  • Publication date: April 06, 2015

Price: $28.95

Price: $28.95
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Request Review Copy

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Understand the connection between how kids grow and how they learn

Rae Pica knows what she’s talking about. With over 35 years in the field of education, she’s realized that what’s missing from our approach to schooling is an understanding of the connection between how children develop and how they learn. In this collection, Pica keeps children front and center as she provides thought-provoking commentary and actionable insights on topics such as the Common Core, the self-esteem movement, and standardized testing. You’ll find

  • 29 short essays on topics critical to best practice in child development and education
  • Opinions of experts supported by research and anecdotal evidence
  • Real-life stories shared by teachers and parents
  • References to related articles and interviews with experts

With its unflinching look at well-meaning initiatives that may be holding students back, this pocket-sized powerhouse of educational philosophy is sure to inspire discussion about our schools.

View the press release detailing Rae Pica's book as #1 on Amazon here!

Check out a review by Susan Ochshorn, Founder and Principal of ECE Policy Work here!

"What a pleasure to read common sense wisdom about what young children need!"
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education
New York University

"This amazing book does far more than chase down the myths about how to ensure that children are successful. If offers real, research-backed practical strategies every teacher and parent can use. It belongs on every desk for quick and handy use!"
Eric Jensen, Director
Jensen Learning, Maunaloa, HI

"Rae Pica has a deep understanding of childhood development and she has delved into every facet of it so that educators, parents, and policymakers will come to that understanding, too. This book needs to not just be on everyone’s shelves, but open in everyone’s hands."
Peter DeWitt, Author/Consultant and Former K-5 Principal

Key features

  • 29 essays based on the author’s 34 years as an education consultant, including 8 previously published in Huffington Post.
  • Supported by research, anecdotal evidence, stories shared by teachers and parents, and the views of experts in the field.
  • Will include an annotated bibliography, citing books, articles, and radio interviews supporting the views presented in the essays.
  • Might provoke conversation and controversy since the author's viewpoint is unflinching, making it ideal for social media


Rae Pica photo

Rae Pica

Rae Pica has been an education consultant (www.raepica.com) specializing in the education and development of the whole child since 1980. A former adjunct instructor with the University of New Hampshire, she is the author of 21 books, including the text Experiences in Movement and Music, in its 5th edition, and What If Everybody Understood Child Development?: Straight Talk About Bettering Education and Children’s LIves. Rae is known for her lively and informative keynotes and trainings and has shared her expertise with such groups as the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues, Gymboree, Nike, and state health departments throughout the country. Rae is a regular blogger and YouTube creator and the author of online courses for early childhood professionals.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author


Part I. Understanding Children

1. All Children Are Not the Same

2. The Earlier the Better?

3. The Power of Joy

4. Bubble Wrapping Not Required

5. When Did a Hug Become a Bad Thing?

6. Teaching Girls They’re More Than a Pretty Face

7. Doing Away With the “Baby Stuff”

8. “But Competition Is Human Nature”

9. Terrorist Tots?

Part II. Understanding the Mind/Body Connection

10. The Myth of the Brain/Body Dichotomy

11. Why Does Sitting Still Equal Learning?

12. In Defense of Active Learning

13. “Play” Is Not a Four-Letter Word

14. The Body Matters, Too

15. Reading, Writing, ’Rithmetic . . . and Recess

16. Why Kids Need “Gym”

Part III. Understanding Developmentally Appropriate Practice

17. In Defense of Authentic Learning

18. Who Should Lead the Learning?

19. The Trouble With Testing

20. Failure Is an Option

21. Should We Teach Handwriting in the Digital Age?

22. Just Say “No” to Keyboarding in Kindergarten

23. iPads or Play-Doh?

24. The Homework Debate

25. In Defense of the Arts

26. No More “Good Job!”

27. Bribes and Threats Work, But . . .

28. Time to Give Time-Out a Time-Out

29. “You’re Outta Here!”



Price: $28.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.