The Glass Castle/Barb in Doha

27th February 2018

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

We make it a practice to ask people about their all-time favorite book. Along these lines, we’ve had a number of recommendations for The Glass Castle: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls. So we finally broke down—it turns out to be a fast, riveting read. (The Glass Castle, incidentally, has been on the New York Times best-seller list for 411 weeks, and has over 7,000 Amazon reviews with a 4.6 rating.)   Walls experienced, along with her brother and sisters, a deeply dysfunctional upbringing. Yet her upbeat, spunky child’s voice carries us through the hard times to Walls’ ultimate triumph as an adult. Walls writes in a way that we can draw our own conclusions about her parents’ shortcomings and odd blessings, even as we learn of the seamy, hardscrabble world experienced by many around the world.  (The audiobook is read by Walls herself—you may be able to get two free audiobooks through this link.)

Incidentally, years ago, we enjoyed Jeannette Walls’ Gossip: The Inside Story On The World Of Gossip Became the News and How the News Became Just Another Show, an eye-opening history of celebrity news reporting.

A Survey to Help Improve Learning How to Learn
Barb asks for your help in completing this fully anonymous survey by researchers Eulho Jung and Dongho Kim to help us better understand the learning that’s taking place in Learning How to Learn.  We hope to use the results of the survey to further improvement of LHTLers’ future learning experiences.

New Writers Needed to Describe “A Day in the Life” of Teaching Internationally

The Times Educational Supplement (TES)—one of the world’s premier publications for K-12 teachers—is looking for new writers for a series called “A Day in the Life,” in which teachers in different countries write about the experience of working in their particular context. TES is particularly interested in native-to-the-area teachers working in local schools, rather than expats working in international schools. Note that your life as a teacher in the country you were raised in may seem ordinary and mundane to you, but to international readers, it could be fascinating. Each contributor to the series is paid £100 for their article. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please reach out to Helen Amass, at

A Mind for Numbers, One Students’ Reflection

While Barb was in Doha, she was privileged to meet some of the fantastic students of Texas A&M Qatar. A Mind for Numbers, (our Learning How to Learn MOOC recommended text), was used as the One Book One Community shared reading experience—Barb’s visit centered around the ideas in the book and MOOC. Aalaa Abdallah wrote a blog post about her insights from reading the book.

(If you’d like such a reading and in-person experience at your university or institution, reach out here.)

Integrating the Ideas of Learning How to Learn into a High School

The high school teachers at the American School of Doha (ASD) have done a fantastic job of integrating the ideas of Learning How to Learn into their curriculum. This is proving highly beneficial to students, as Barb discovered when she was overwhelmed by excited-about-learning ASD students during her visit. Read more here if you are interested in the specifics of how to integrate Learning How to Learn into your high school.  [Thanks for these ideas and approaches to innovative teachers Pamela Keigley and her colleagues.]

TED’s First Original Podcast, with Adam Grant

One of our favorite people, Adam Grant, is launching TED’s first original podcast, on WorkLife.  Adam became the Wharton School’s youngest tenured professor in history at age 28–and behind the scenes, we can attest to the fact that he truly is not only brilliant, but a heckuva nice guy.  As Adam notes “You need a support network. But you also need a challenge network: a group of people you trust to push you to improve. If you don’t look back on yourself and think, “Wow, how stupid I was a year ago,” then you must not have learned much in the last year… Every time you get feedback, ask yourself how well you took it. Even if you got a D- for your performance, you can still get an A+ for how you respond to it.” Check out #WorkLife with @AdamMGrant, the new podcast with @TEDTalks. (One of our favorite books, incidentally, and not just because he discusses Barb’s work on pathological altruism, is Adam’s Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.)

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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