InSkills Mania Bob Davis argues passionately that the emphasis in the secondary school classroom must shift from a technocratic, skills-based approach, to teaching and discussion that focuses on real, substantive issues. He also calls for a new emphasis on the teaching of history, a practice that has been sadly lacking in recent years. Two central qualities warm up this book: first the story is told through the author's own teaching, and second, the author presents us with an original and frank point of view. This is a stiring, engaged, and practical book.
Bob Davis has taught in secondary schools for more than thirty years. He was the first chair of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Education Committee, and a co-founder ofThis Magazine is About Schools andMudpie magazine. He currently teaches Social Science at York University.
[Davis] is a passionate and charismatic teacher who can seamlessly imbed the teaching of skills within the 'bursting framework of history, humankind, animal kind and the earth; war and peace; protest and self-knowledge; contemplation and the design of blueprints for change.
In Skills Mania, Davis offers every teacher the chance to examine one of the informing principles of our system and to reconsider the fundamental questions of the profession.
This is a book which moves beyond postmodern irony and skepticism, beyond the "current fashion of seeing through everything and owing allegiance to nothing." Bob Davis has issued a powerful clarion call to resist "training people who are mentally skilled but mindless." He is a lover of the big questions and the absolute possibility of meaningful human advancement. His book is a loving commentary on Einstein's dictum that "All means are but a blunt instrument if they have not behind them a living spirit."