Book Review

Clap If You Can Hear Me by Kelly Mitchell

Publisher: Independently published | Genre: Education Reform

I would recommend this book to all parents, educators and anyone interested in improving the quality of education here, there, anywhere. It is not a how-to book by any stretch, nor does the author claim to have all the answers; and in fact it all began with her simple quest to understand the huge discrepancies that exist in system. This book is the result of that investigation.

Title: Clap If You Can Hear Me

Author: Kelly Mitchell

Publisher: Independently published

Genre: Education Reform

First Publication: 2021

Language: English


Book Summary: Clap If You Can Hear Me by Kelly Mitchell

When a teacher exclaims, “Clap if you can hear me,” students are meant to clap once in unison in answer to demonstrate they are attentive, focused, and processing what is being said. The essential ingredient in enhancing education is paying attention.

This book presents practical solutions to empower students and parents in education. Clap If You Can Hear Me is a navigational guide that exposes critical deficits in PreK through higher education programs. It also illuminates best practices to prepare youth for life, not just college, which is illustrated throughout each chapter.

The culmination of the enclosed suggestions delivers a balanced, quality education that is affordable and relevant. Infusing higher education with life skills and work experience that today’s employers are looking for is a featured theme. To achieve generational wealth and national prosperity, we must rethink how we prepare our youth for life and address post-graduate resources for both primary and higher education students that are entering the workforce.

This book reveals the things they don’t tell you and provides an arsenal of implementable solutions for parents and students that you can do to enhance your education. Relevance is the greatest challenge of a robust education. Excelling in global competitiveness happens when we establish a better quality of life for all Americans while simultaneously reducing personal and government debt. Establishing this life begins with education.

Clap If You Can Hear Me acts as an advocate for change with solutions that can be immediately applied to benefit students, parents, and lobbied for by any party of interest. Clap if you can hear me, ‘Merica.

Clap If You Can Hear Me by Kelly Mitchell

Book Review: Clap If You Can Hear Me by Kelly Mitchell

Clap If You Can Hear Me by Kelly Mitchell should be required reading for every person with a child in public school, for every person who was educated in public schools, for every person who offers an opinion on what should be done with our public schools, for every politician who offers criticisms of public education or solutions to educational challenges, and for every person who has the right to vote in the country. The author has drilled down beneath the educational policy discourse to offer a hard-hitting, fact-rich examination of what has happened and what is happening in and to American education system.

This book presents a refreshing change–lengthy, thought-out discussions on many of the issues of public education. Each issue is discussed and author suggests solutions on the issues with references. This is a great primer for people new to the education scene – new parents, new politicians, new school officials. And it’s a great reminder of the impediments for change. Hopefully whole communities can read the book and once they see the common ground they find ways to improve the situation for millions of students nationwide.

This book is a great first step for people who have concerns about certain aspects of the K-12 school realm, who question the necessities of certain “traditions”- testing, loads of homework, etc.- or have a struggling child. It doesn’t have all of the answers, but it provides much to think about and gives some great starting tactics for parents struggling with how to address an overpowering and intimidating administrative school system. We are reminded in the book that American schooling was never designed to do what we are asking it to do today. While this book is specifically about education reform, anyone involved in the reform of anything in business or society today would be well served to read this book.

Kelly Mitchell suggests that schools in any successful national system need to have content-based standards for each grade level. By “content-based,” she means that a standard would list a specific set of knowledge that each child would acquire in each grade. This seems to make an immense amount of sense to me. It is definitely not trying to sell home-schooling as the be-all and end-all solution, but rather provides parents with a starting point to advocate for their child within the system.

Skills are domain-specific: you cannot transfer them from one type of task or subject matter to another. Teaching general reading strategies like ‘main-idea finding’ or ‘inferencing’ is ineffective after the first handful of lessons. Teaching communicative or critical thinking skills and other so-called twenty-first century skills is not possible separate from extensive knowledge-building on each topic. The point isn’t that kids should leave school all with the same knowledge, with school being a kind of cookie cutting service. It also isn’t to provide students with the skills necessary to get jobs, as such. The problem here is that the jobs are changing so fast that imparting ‘skills’ is just about the best means to ensure kids won’t get jobs in the future. The role of education is rather to help students become life long learners who can, in the words of Freire, read the word and read the world. It is for kids to leave school with the skills to critically understand the world they live in.

Clap If You Can Hear Me by Kelly Mitchell is a highly valuable book with practical solutions for navigating our broken school system. This is a very practical book, that offers solutions and not just a dire forecast of our school system. The main focus of the book is being able to flex education to meet the needs of our children and help them become life-long learners who enjoy education. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants practical solutions.

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