Overview

In just a few years, today's children and teens will forge careers that look nothing like those their parents and grandparents knew. Even the definition of "career" and "job" are changing as more people build their own teams to create new businesses, apps, and services. Although these changes are well underway, our system of K–12 education in the United States lags behind.

Our education system still subscribes to the idea that content is king. The exclusive focus on content is reflected in what we test and how we teach, and even the toys we offer our children at home. Employers want to hire excellent communicators, critical thinkers, and innovators — in short, they want brilliant people. But they are often disappointed. So what can we do, as parents, to help our children be brilliant and successful?

Stories about the failures of our educational system abound, but most of them stop after pointing out the problems. Becoming Brilliant goes beyond complaining to offer solutions that parents can apply right now.

Authors Roberta Michnick Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek provide a science-based framework for how we should be educating children in and outside of school. Parents become agents of change for children's success when they nurture six critical skills.

Constructed from the latest scientific evidence and presented in an accessible way rich with examples, this book introduces the 6Cs — collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence — along with tips to optimize children's development in each area.

Taken together, these are the skills that will make up the straight-A report card for success in the 21st century.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

  1. Redefining Success in the 21st Century
  2. The Learning Industry and the Learning Sciences: How Educational Reform Sent Us in the Wrong Direction
  3. The Skills Needed for Success Are Global
  4. Hard Skills and "Soft Skills": Finding the Perfect Balance
  5. Collaboration: No One Can Fiddle a Symphony
  6. Communication: Lines of Connection
  7. Toppling the King That Is Content
  8. Critical Thinking: What Counts as Evidence?
  9. Creative Innovation: Rearranging the Old to Make the New
  10. Confidence: Dare to Fail
  11. A Report Card for the 21st Century

Epilogue: What If? The Reprise

Notes

Index

About the Authors

Author Bios

Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD, obtained her bachelor's degree at Brooklyn College, her PhD at Cornell University, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education, Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science, and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Delaware.

She has won numerous awards for her work, including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Award, the Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society, and two awards from APA: the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science and Distinguished Scientific Lecturer. With her long-standing colleague Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Dr. Golinkoff was the 2015 recipient of the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for lifetime contributions to applied psychological science.

She routinely travels worldwide to speak to academic as well as lay groups. Having written more than 150 articles and 16 books, monographs, and special journal issues, she is an expert on language development, playful learning, and early spatial knowledge. Three of her books are directed at parents and practitioners because she is passionate about dissemination.

To bring the science of learning to the streets, Dr. Golinkoff cofounded the Ultimate Block Party movement to celebrate the science of learning.

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy, as well as the role of play in learning.

With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, she is the author of 14 books and hundreds of publications. She is the recipient of APA's Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society, Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science, and Distinguished Scientific Lecturer award, as well as the Association for Psychological Science's James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award.

Dr. Hirsh-Pasek is a fellow of APA and the American Psychological Society and the president-elect of the International Society for Infant Studies.

She has served as the associate editor of Child Development. Her book Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less won the prestigious Books for a Better Life Award as the best psychology book in 2003.

Dr. Hirsh-Pasek received her bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Reviews & Awards
  • Bronze Medal, Living Now Book Awards, Parenting

This well-written book is of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about parenting, education, and characteristics of a successful humane workforce. This book, with its nontechnical and easy-to-read style, has potential to disseminate important findings about parenting and education to a broader audience.
—PsycCRITIQUES

Expertly written, organized and presented, Becoming Brilliant is especially "reader friendly" and highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Parenting Skills collections.
Midwest Book Review