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Cover for Square Peg

Square Peg

My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers

Todd Rose, Katherine Ellison


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In the seventh grade, Todd Rose was suspended-not for the first time-for throwing six stink bombs at the blackboard, where his art teacher stood with his back to the class. At eighteen, he was a high school dropout, stocking shelves at a department store for $4.25 an hour. Today, Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Square Peg illuminates the struggles of millions of bright young children -- and their frustrated parents and teachers--who are stuck in a one-size-fits-all school system that fails to approach the student as an individual. Rose shares his own incredible journey from troubled childhood to Harvard, seamlessly integrating cutting-edge research in neuroscience and psychology along with advances in the field of education, to ultimately provide a roadmap for parents and teachers of kids who are the casualties of America's antiquated school system.

With a distinguished blend of humor, humility, and practical advice for nurturing children who are a poor fit in conventional schools, Square Peg is a game-changing manifesto that provides groundbreaking insight into how we can get the most out of all the students in our classrooms, and why today's dropouts could be tomorrow's innovators.

Praise For Square Peg: My Story and What It Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers

"A mind is (indeed) a terrible thing to waste! This up-close-and-personal account will resonate viscerally with countless parents and youngsters, and provide them with renewed hope and practical guidance."—Charles Fadel, author of 21st Century Skills and Founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign

"A compelling story about Todd Rose's journey from boy trouble-maker to highly successful scholar and teacher, "Square Peg" also offer engaging and memorable research findings about what can help individuals with attention deficits and attendant emotional and social challenges. Parents, teachers, and kids will find here both a powerful story and specific steps to improve so many lives and life chances."—Martha Minow, author of Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law

"Located along the same continuum as Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, David Brooks' The Social Animal, and Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore, Todd Rose's book, Square Peg, manages to weave a deeply personal and often unsettling narrative into a work that captures the complexity of human development while celebrating the triumphs of parents who allow their all too often misunderstood children to grow up to be exceptional adults. It is a must read for anyone seeking to better understand how nature, nurture, timing and chance influence who we ultimately become."—Dr. Chris Howard, President of Hampden-Sydney College

"In Square Peg, Todd Rose takes the reader along on his hard journey in the education system; one that is bumpy, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, and always insightful. He reflects on himself as a student and on the school system, in general, with a sharp eye and a sharp pen."—Larry Rosenstock, CEO and co-founder of High Tech High

"Todd Rose's journey from high-school dropout to Harvard professor is a welcome success story--one that leaves me rooting for square pegs everywhere."—David Finch, New York Times bestselling author of The Journal of Best Practices

"On any given morning, thousands of American children dread going to school out of fear of bullying and boredom. With its poignant stories, wise insights, and helpful tips, Square Peg points the way to a kinder, better future."—Molly Ringwald

Hachette Books, 9781401324278, 256pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

About the Author

Todd Rose is a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, international lecturer, and leading thinker in the field of Educational Neuroscience. Today, Todd works at the forefront of innovation in learning science and education, contributing new insights about learning variability, and helping to design new educational technologies flexible enough to support all students in reaching their full potential.< BR> < BR> Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, who has written three books on neuroscience and learning differences, most recently including < I > Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention< /I> , as well as related articles for media including < I > The New York Times< /I> , < I > The Washington Post< /I> , and < I > The Atlantic< /I> magazine.< BR> < BR> Together, Rose and Ellison bring you the story of Todd Rose's extraordinary comeback from a teenaged high-school dropout with a pregnant wife and job stocking shelves in a department store to one of America's foremost young experts on education, learning differences, and creativity. < I > Square Peg, Round Hole < /I> also educates parents, teachers, and other interested readers about the fast-paced recent changes taking place in U.S. classrooms, relating why the technology-enabled classrooms of the future may soon be more engaging, innovative, and accessible than ever before.
Katherine Ellison is a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, former foreign correspondent, writing consultant, author of four books, and mother of two sons. Her most recent writing has focused primarily on neuroscience and the environment.