Empowering the Child: Nurturing the Hungry Mind

” You have made such a convincing rationale for what we feel is the vision of where we want to be.  The ‘Yes, Yes’ I described after reading your first chapter has multiplied into a multitude of Yeses, all with !!! after them.  …your writing says so much about your philosophy drawn from so many sources.  Absolutely couldn’t put the book down.”

– June Main, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Jacksonville University

“Congratulations on your publication. It certainly is readable and your argument for self-initiated learning certainly points the way to go. We have to figure out ways of helping children take at least some responsibility for their own education.”

– Matthew Lipman
Professor of Philosophy
Montclair State College

” Your thoughts on the educational needs of children remind us all to strive for educational reform that views students as responsible learners.  Your treatise on elementary education for the next century was not only highly readable but offered the philosophical underpinnings for comprehensive school reform.  It will be my pleasure to forward your book to other educators.”

-Nancy S. Grasmick
Superintendent of Schools
Maryland State Department of Education

” How wonderful it would be if parents and school board members read this book and demanded that children have the kind of learning experiences Dr. Hartjen describes.  As he writes, “Let the old, outdated learning models die away, and give breathing room to our children’s inborn passion to explore the world.””

– Dorothea Halliday, freelance editor and writer
The East Hampton Star
January 11, 1996

“Empowering the Child clearly and succinctly describes the essence of education, which is to enable the learner to become self-directed and independent in acquiring knowledge as a lifelong pursuit.  I feel it is a very valuable resource for parents as well as educators.  It’s a lot like a staff development course in 135 pages.”

– Evelyn Winfield, Ph.D.
Dean of Instruction
Charles County Schools, Maryland

“Hartjen says the most successful educational approach needs to start at the very bottom: with the children themselves.  He preaches faith in the natural inquisitiveness of children, letting them assume ownership of their job of learning.  …for persons to be truly successful life-coping skills need to be learned in the context of real social relationships, not contrived ones.  Using ideas from Eric Fromm, Rollo May, Kahlil Gibran, and others, he builds a case for needing to allow children freedom, respect and dignity, with guidance to develop self-discipline.  For someone who firmly believes that children’s minds are empty vessels to fill and mold, this book may have little to say.  But if you are look at a young child as a seed needing water and nourishment to grow into its beautiful self, Ray Hartjen’s book provides readable encouragement for all growers’ of children.”

– Barbara Tollefson Burdick
Music Teacher, Canton, N.Y.


Publisher’s Comments
Learn how to engage children’s minds, enthusiasm, and natural inquisitiveness.  Help them develop their self initiating, focusing, thinking and creative abilities.  Empowering the Child: Nurturing the Hungry Mind does this and more.  It introduces the reader to the learning environment, a community of inquirers, where students and teachers participate in a living democracy.  Graduates of such schools become the leaders, doers and the active citizens we so badly need in today’s society.

Author’s Comments
This book became far more than I expected.  The very act of focusing on writing while reading books in tangential fields as Leakey’s Origins Reconsidered, Waldrop’s Complexity, and Fromm’s The Sane Society, and others enabled me to assimilate ideas into new knowledge.  These new insights are woven together to what many have called a book that “reads like a journey”.

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