|T H E P L A I N S T O N C H R O N I C L E S|
|R e v i e w s|
E.M. "Mac" Swengel, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education
Educator, Joan Larimore
As an educator in a public school classroom for thirty years, then working with school districts as a consultant, a certified drug and alcohol prevention specialist, certified ESL instructor, early childhood education specialist, and a long time advocate of common sense changes in public education, picking up Dr. Edwin M. Swengel’s book, “The Plainston Chronicles” was an exercise in “Ho hum, what new little bandaid twist will we hear about now?!”
What a surprise to find myself deeply engrossed right from the author’s “regret” page! Not only is Dr. Swengel’s style lyrical, but it hit very close to home as I recognized techniques I have used in primary classes.
Disenchantment with rigid curriculum over the years caused me to gradually train students to be partners in their learning. As the characters in the book discovered, children are capable of far more than we think and they were soon helping each other and discussing tutoring skills.
True learning accelerated, children learned skills in many areas, and discipline problems disappeared. This technique left me with time to work individually with students. Did I call it "family-style" learning? No, but that’s what it was.
Is this book “pie in the sky”? Definitely not, as it worked miracles in my classrooms. Hopefully many school administrators, teachers, and parents will read and enjoy this book and call for changes. I heartily encourage the discovery of this book!
Concerned Citizen, April Fletcher
Teacher, Beau Randt
Dr. Swengel has written a compelling “treatise” (in story form) on education in our country over a period of time, 1919 through 1951, in the central plains of the U.S.
First, I wish I had read this before my practice teaching in the public school systems. It explores concepts of teaching that are so sensible and attentive to the sensitivities of young students one must ask why this is not being done now... in all the schools?
This delightful and enlightening work should be required reading for teaching candidates. If you had told me I would be reading two volumes on education last month, I probably wouldn't have believed you. The writing is enticing and joyful as he spins the stories of his characters. Dr. Swengel draws the reader further and further into the dramas of Plainston. But be forewarned … Volume I leads to Volume II!
Yes, there is a Volume II and I found myself ordering it within twenty-four hours of finishing the first Volume.
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This reader has come here after reading Volume I of the Plainston Chronicles. It was only days until I had ordered Volume II.
Dr Swengel's powers as an educator and his skills as a crafter of stories are both evident. By the end of Volume II, I was thoroughly engrossed in the educational evolution of Plainston. It is clear Dr. Swengel's "research" in creating this work was a lifetime of love for education and what it gives us as a society. It is a work with many levels and a power of inspiration.
Yes, there is a Volume III. Yes, I'll be reading it.”
Copyright © 2010 by E.M Swengel