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American Educator
Spring 2002


Table of Contents


The Power of Story
By Edward O. Wilson

Everyone loves a story—especially children. Children's television producers know this. So do advertisers and children's toy manufacturers. This award-winning biologist pulls together the converging scientific evidence to tell us why this is so—and he suggests how we can tap this innate human pleasure to bring greater scientific understanding to our children.

The Story of the Atom (PDF)
(Aimed at Middle-Schoolers, Fascinating for Adults)
By Joy Hakim

The quest to understanding the world around us seems as old as humanity; yet as scientists come closer to such an understanding, their work becomes less comprehensible to the millions of interested laymen. The Story of the Atom shows that even physics, arguably the most confusing of the sciences, can be told as a fascinating—and informative—tale of determination and discovery that even middle-schoolers can grasp.

Mystic Chords of Memory
Cultivating America's Unique Form of Patriotism
By Walter Berns

Like every country, America needs patriots who love their country. But American patriotism, anchored as it is to a set of ideas, poses unique challenges to the goal of educating patriots. The author explains the challenges— and how we can overcome them—of educating citizens who can hear the beautiful right of America's mystic chords.

Lincoln, Patriotism's Greatest Poet

Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as one of America's greatest prose writers. In these excerpts from his speeches and writing, he evokes a vision of America that has inspired, shaped, and defined us ever since.

The Road to Interest and Curiosity
It Begins with a Deliberate Choice
By Ron Rude

In the push to make lessons more interesting for students, we shouldn't lose sight of this children-and-egg paradox: Knowledge and effort are often what beget interest in the first place. If you only begin with what's already interesting, eventually you'll travel only to boredom.

A Different Kind of Book Club
By Gerard Lesperance

Do you remember the first time that a book transported you to a magical new world? The author brings that experience to a new generation of students—and teaches them a good habit that will last a lifetime.

Resources to Inspire Young Readers

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About American Educator

American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.

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