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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
I am a teacher. I read a lot of books about teaching and education. I also think about the future of education. I think about it a lot. My thoughts tend to focus on advances in technology, though sometimes I wonder if learning more about ourselves is the direction we should go in. I care about teaching. It is my chosen profession. So, if you want to get my attention, start a book with a sentence like this: “There has been a crisis in education for the past 2000 years.” Uscolia by Gabriel Lanyi blew my mind from that opening sentence to the last period. Never have I gotten a clearer picture of how children learn, how humans learn, and the best way to facilitate a process that is going on all the time. Let me be clear here. This book is revolutionary. This book could change the world if enough educators, administrators, and parents read it and take it to heart.
Uscolia is told as a kind of parable. Gabriel Lanyi takes us to an island where “teaching” has been replaced with learning. Like any good parable, the lesson is clear and concise. The first thing he does, though, is explain how we really learn. That is where I learned the most. Uscolia is simply but beautifully written and there are so many sentences, simple but profound sentences, that will leave you thinking profoundly about our education system and how we might improve it. Uscolia made me wish that I had read it before I became a parent so that I could use the things that I learned for my own child’s education.