Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book with some science.
After shelves upon shelves of books, magazines, and essays have been written about the brain science behind our childrens' developement, we finally have a book that actually discusses the evidence rather than shaping it for a particular goal. Mr. Bruer is not an advocacy group. He's not a political action committee. He has researched his book thoroughly, sourced it,...
Published on May 8 2001 by Christopher L Hubbell

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Right-wing extremist collides with Neuroscience
First, the strengths of the book. It provides an alternative view to the frantic parents who are trying to do everything for their kids and in fact, are overdoing it. I completely agree with his points about too many parents getting obsessive about the first few years with their children.
But here are three things that I find troubling. 1) The very research...
Published on Sept. 1 2000


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Right-wing extremist collides with Neuroscience, Sept. 1 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
First, the strengths of the book. It provides an alternative view to the frantic parents who are trying to do everything for their kids and in fact, are overdoing it. I completely agree with his points about too many parents getting obsessive about the first few years with their children.
But here are three things that I find troubling. 1) The very research studies he tries to debunk in other's findings are the same ones he uses to support his own position. He says you can't use the basic neuroscience to justify the more practical end uses, then he uses basic neuroscience research to support his own position.2) He ignores a huge body of research from studies on attachment, emotional abuse, physical abuse, drug abuse and neglect that supports the critical value of early emotional involvement and the delicate caregiver-to-child process of attunement. This is the underpinnings of emotional intelligence--which may be more important than the standard cognition. 3) He ballyhoos the current trend in schools towards a more brain-based approach, saying that it'll be 25 years before we can apply neuroscience to classroom learning. That's dead wrong. Thousands of educators are already using strategies and programs based on recent research. He apparently doesn't know about them--maybe he does not visit cutting edge schools. As an example, the technology of FastForWord (a software that is treating phonological deficits) is just one of several hearing improvement programs. Other teachers are using research on emotions, stress, memory and the brain's structural constraints to enhance teaching--and scores are going up. Bruer is well-meaning, but not in touch with the cutting edge of learning.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book with some science., May 8 2001
By 
Christopher L Hubbell (Topeka, Ks United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
After shelves upon shelves of books, magazines, and essays have been written about the brain science behind our childrens' developement, we finally have a book that actually discusses the evidence rather than shaping it for a particular goal. Mr. Bruer is not an advocacy group. He's not a political action committee. He has researched his book thoroughly, sourced it, and even interviewed the original scientists whose studies were horribly misinterpereted, misconstrued, or just plain misused. If you listen to the media, there are mountains of data regarding the connections between your baby's environment, and his/her brain developement. Mr. Bruer lets us hear from the scientists themselves that this is not true. They tell us that what little scientific evidence we have regarding such connections is incomplete, and should not be extrapolated to any practical parenting curriculum. In sum, we should raise our kids with common sense, love, and care. What a comfort that such a time-honored notion should still prove true.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective, Sept. 7 2001
By 
Amazon Customer "joan2742" (Edgewater, MD, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
I'm going to start by disagreeing with a reviewer below. Dr. Bruer is not suggesting that we ignore our kids! Rather, his valuable book makes the simple point that neuroscience does not "prove" that the experiences of the first three years profoundly and irreversibly influence the remainder of life. It is true, Dr. Bruer points out, that abnormal and/or abusive environments do indeed damage kids. However, provided the child experiences normal care (a standard which varies greatly worldwide), he should develop normally. According to Dr. Bruer, There is no good nueroscientific evidence that "enriched" environments lead to better brain development.

Dr. Bruer also points out that there may be good reason to believe that the brain remains plastic (changeable) throughout life. That's good news for those who came from less advantaged environments! It's also a relief for parents who for whatever reason could not give their children the good start they would have liked to give.

This book is important to read for two reasons: first, it gives a good example of how science can be misinterpreted or even "created" in order to further a pre-set goal. Second, it sheds some light on a potentially dangerous effort to introduce super-early education programs for all children, disadvantaged or not.

But I am holding back a star because Dr. Bruer fails to qualify his arguments with an important point. Even if the first three years do not of themselves determine the course of life, these are the years when habits are formed and the parent-child relationship is established. In other words, if we handle kids well and spend lots of time with them in years 1-3, we are much more apt to continue to do so in years 4-6, 7-9 etc. The kids will also have the good habit of enjoying their family life, and will, I believe, be much more open to parental influence. For this reason, parents need to take the day-care vs. in home-care decision much more seriously than Dr. Bruer implies.

With that caution, I would recommend this book to parents, teachers and anyone interested in public policy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good but prolix, Dec 10 1999
By 
William "wjs@cs.duke.edu" (Bahama, NC, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
The myth of the first three years cogently discusses the science behind, or lack or science in many cases, the claims about children's development that are made by many organizations and reports frequently reported on by the mainstream media. It seems to have become "common" knowledge that a child may not be as smart if they do not get certain educational and environmental elements in the first three years of life. Bruer shows, with scientific backup, that children will not suffer if they do not hear Mozart, get grilled by flash cards, or watch flashy geometric shapes on TV. He explains that children do need specific things in order to develop correctly, but those items are usually present in a "normal" environment. The argument that children will be smarter if the hear classical music does not have hard science behind it, but it amazing how prevalent the belief actually is. This is an important book for parents, educators, researchers, and politicians!
The prolix nature of the book is the only complaint I have. I guess this may be expected in a book that does need to devote a good amount of time to discussing the science behind these claims, but it could have been a good 100 pages shorter in my opinion. Scientific texts do not have to be boring. This important book should be on the list of a lot of the movers and shakers, though I suspect it isn't!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars admirable sentiments, but mind numbingly tedious prose, May 10 2001
By 
R. Delapp (Columbus, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
i suppose you should take this review with a grain of salt, for i have only made my way through the first chapter. unfortunately bruer is an amazingly awful writer. in taking nearly thirty pages to illustrate that which should have been said in five, and with the words "new brain science," "new brain science," "reiner," "reiner," "reiner, " ringing hollowly, like some dreadful mantra in my mind, i fell into a stupor, one that could only be cured by closing this damned book. that is not to say that i won't return for a second look. call me a glutten for punishment perhaps. Or rather, could it be that i sympathize with what i have understood his argument to be thus far? anxious potential soccer moms and dockers kakhi gents, do not worry, properly applied neuroscience will save this country from the awful pestilence of.... low SAT scores... inability to hold a steady job... juvenille delinquency... violence... if we hand our little tykes over to the experts (which i guess is what consititutes "community" in this day and age) between the ages of 0 to 3 (as if the next 15 weren't enough), then we can eradicate the evil at its source - hit the neurons and hit em hard, while they're still fresh and spunky.
in all seriousness though, what this book seems to be critiquing is a very unclever and misguided liberal humanist agenda which would prefer to rest content with an astonishingly unrealistic cure-it all program than acknowledge the complexities of social distress and rebellion. neuroscience provides the crutch of truth to prop up this facile agenda. and in so doing we can, with clear conscience, avoid the disparaging task of examining and questioning the priorities of the society we live in. Much easier to let the market run free as the sole source of meaning in this culture, and delude ourselves into believing that youth violence, boredom, and alienation are simply the product of an ill formed mind.
am i jumping to conclusions?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book gives an excuse to parents for ignoring their kids, April 2 2001
By 
Nancy Farkas (Richland, Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
This book is terrible.It provides an excuse to many parents who pay little or no attention to their young children.The man is not even a doctor! He has a PHd by his name, but on the back cover it says he is a consultant for educational issues, not a doctor studying the developing brain! He says that their is no research that claims that children who are abused as young children will not be able to form loving relationships later on! But, there is plenty.Just look at all the news stories of people who have such trouble with these kinds of children! And why, because of their abusive pasts they are unable to love and form secure bonds.This book should be taken off the shelf as it is giving parents the wrong impression and giving them an excuse for why they don't pay attention to their kids and makes them feel better for not being their and for mistreating their kids!
This book is horrible!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try, Sept. 7 2000
By 
This review is from: Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning (Hardcover)
Nice try, because right from word go, Bruer seems to have an axe to grind against somebody or something. He uses the word Myth (as in title) excessively to belittle the importance first three years of life.
While being correct on some of the neuroscientifc research and implications, he however relies too heavily on IQ tests, which are now not considered all that accurate. He fails to appreciate that intelligence is more than ability to perform well on artificial tests set in an artificial environment.
He also belittles the folk wisdom that the foundations for personality traits are set very early in a person's life. While it is nobody's case, not even Iamyourchild.org or zerotothree.org which he berates continuously, that there is no hope after first three years. The brain is plastic and a lot can be learnt (and is learnt) later on in life. But it is just so easy to learn it during those first three years. So much heart burn can be prevented if parents can take care in those years. Unfortunately Bruer has done harm by writing this book and underplaying the importance of first three years.
Only positive thing I can say about this book is that it is excellent source of information about infant development, brain research and other areas.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb24e1948)

This product

Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development and Lifelong Learning
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews