I grew up in Rutland, Vermont and graduated from Rutland High School. After earning a bachelor's degree in government at Smith College, I went on to get a master's degree and, later, was presented with an honorary doctorate from Goucher College. In between I did a lot of teaching. Then I became a newspaperwoman: I was a reporter for The Ledger-Star in Norfolk, VA, a business writer and editorial writer for the The Virginian-Pilot, as well as a freelancer for a number of publications including the The Wall Street Journal. I was also assistant editor of McGraw-Hill's World News in New York City.
I have never stopped being a student. I've taken courses at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Bennington, Cornell, and the Wharton School of Business.
I've been a teacher: in Syracuse, New York, Omaha, Nebraska, and Virginia Beach, Virginia. And I've taught in elementary school, middle school, high school, and in a community college. I taught a writing course to high school English teachers (who got U of Va credit for it). I had fun, the teachers may have worked harder than they expected.
While my husband and I spent many years in Colorado and Virginia, we now live in the DC area. We have five grandchildren.
Currently, I am writing a storyteller's book on biology, which includes new research into evolutionary biology and presents the three domains that currently describe the biological world. It's an amazing subject, perhaps the defining science of our time. I'm having fun. Right now a natural process known as CRISPR is changing life science. Read about it. It's the future.
This is the Information Age. To productively handle information you need to research (read), process (think), and use (write). So reading, writing and critical thinking are today’s essential skills.
Writing is a process that helps readers make sense of their reading. You can't write without doing some thinking.
As for science history? Mostly we don't teach it. Why not? In this the greatest age of science ever, it is essential. It's also interesting, timely and.mind-stretching.
Cultures have traditionally passed on their ideas through stories. The Greeks knew that, and so, too, did Mr. McGuffey, whose story-filled "readers" taught generations of Americans to think.
READING SCORES HAVE RISEN DRAMATICALLY IN SOME CLASSES USING A HISTORY OF US TO TEACH READING.
While reading scores in this country have been in a downward trajectory, IQ scores have been going up. In other words, as our students have been getting smarter their reading skills have been declining. That shouldn't be happening. One of our leading educators, E.D. Hirsch, Jr, blames the "ephemeral fiction" used in most reading instruction.
In "The Knowledge Deficit," Hirsch writes, "The association of language arts mainly with fiction and poetry is an accident of recent intellectual history." We once taught reading with "narratives about the real world of nature and history."
Here is the Voice of America visiting a classroom using A History of US. Click here.