Education Books for Sale

I have some second-hand books on education/youth for sale. These books are of varying conditions and ages (but generally good). Prices are best offer + shipping; I’ll ship internationally from Brisbane. I accept bank transfers (Australia only) or PayPal (you can pay by credit card using PayPal). I also have some other non-education books; contact me for more info.

Click “More” to see the books I have for sale:
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Win KaosPilot A-Z 2: Essays on social enterprise

KaosPilot A-Z 2

I am giving away a copy of the now-rare English edition of KaosPilot A-Z, which is filled with essays and stories about social entrepreneurship from KaosPilots board members and friends, such as the late Dame Anita Roddick and Alan Webber of Fast Company, as well as an alphabetical look into life as a KaosPilot.

This book can be bought for DKR 280,- or €40, which doesn’t include shipping and handling. I got mine from a second-hand dealer and it cost me AU$70 all up. And I’m going to give my copy away!

All you have to do is answer these simple questions. All the answers can be found on the KaosPilots.NL website. You’ll also need to describe the KaosPilots Netherlands in your own words. Don’t worry, we don’t need essays )

Anyone can enter! Just get all your entries in by 30th April 2008. The results will be posted here by the 3rd of May at the very latest, and I’ll get in touch with the winner to send the book over.

Don’t hesitate, it’s just a simple task.

Enter Now!

Some reviews of KaosPilot A-Z 2:

Fast Company
WorldChanging
Pioneers of Change

Reviews of the original Danish edition, KaosPilot A-Z (the version I’m giving away is in English)

Take Back Your Education

I just finished reading The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins, where she chronicles the life of a few high school juniors and seniors in a top high school in the US (her former school) as they pile themselves up with activities and other things to keep themselves qualified for college. Like in Denise Clark Pope’s Doing School, these students are going through extraordinary stress and pressure to keep up with the rest. In both books, most of the students would rather concentrate on things they want to do, but they are constantly pressured (whether by parents, students, counselors, or themselves) to perform more than is necessary – or sane.

One of the students in The Overachievers is Frank (or AP Frank in the beginning), a half-Asian young man who is pressured by his Korean mother to go to Harvard to study medicine or law. He and his brother Richard are not allowed to have a social or otherwise non-academic life; instead, they have to study under their mother’s watchful eye, with only half an hour in between allowed for a quick dinner (something reheated) and television news (they are not allowed to watch anything else). His mother actually forced Frank to take all the AP subjects the school offered, and called up the school to ask why they didn’t have an AP for Physical Education. She pushed Frank into Harvard (even when he’d rather be elsewhere) and went through all the documentation, choosing his classes and dormitory for him. When Frank tries to stand up for himself, he is physically assaulted by his mother. This leads to a series of incidents where the social services are called in, his brother Richard is taken into foster care (and lives in what he describes as a “mansion” – the home of a schoolmate – which allows him greater freedom), and their parents are divorced (with Frank’s mother frantically calling Frank telling him to deny the abuse). Eventually Frank regains his strength and confidence, finds love, sheds the “AP” title, and goes into environmental science and public policy – something he’s more interested in than medicine. (Reading the updates, it seems that the relationship between him and his mum has improved, and the mother has relaxed considerably. yay!)

While Frank’s story is a bit extreme, it isn’t that unusual. Throughout Frank’s story, Robbins talks about the pressure Asian students face in school. Korean three-year-olds have to prove their proficiency in a musical instrument before being allowed into kindergarden. Your life and social status in Japan, even when you’re middle aged, is largely determined by how you scored in your exams when you were 15. There’s a whole breed of mothers – kyioku mama – who sit in their children’s classes and take notes for them when their kids are ill. Suicide rates amongst schoolkids are alarmingly high. And this is the system President Reagan wanted the US to emulate in the 1980s? No wonder American students are driving themselves insane!

And before you say “oh that’s a different country”…it happens in Malaysia too. We all know it. If you don’t take Science for your SPM, you’re stupid or wasting your intelligence. You have to get straight As at every level to get into a good institution. Medicine is the only university subject that matters. Even if you’re bright and knowledgeable, you have to take tuition classes to keep up. All the talks hosted by schools are “How To Answer XYZ Paper”. Let’s not even touch on this weird hysteria people have for overseas “top schools” – Harvard/Oxford/Cambridge, or nothing. (By the way, the whole ranking system? Complete bullocks. Many US colleges are opting out of it because they find it unfair and unrepresentative. Some of the “top” schools fudge their numbers to get high rankings. It’s a game.) No one ever cares about the suicides – they just take up a small column in Page 2 of the papers.

Why are we going through so much insanity? Apparently it’s because we have to “live up” to something – school standards, counselor standards, society standards. We allow ourselves/our children to be bullied, stressed, abused by the system, just so we could get in to something supposedly prestigious. Instead of schools and universities acknowledging students’ various talents and capabilities, they force the students to be someone they’re not, just to keep up an image.

Let’s stop this madness.

You’re the one that’s going to school. It’s your money that’s being spent. It’s your time that’s being used. You’re the one that has to go through all this trouble. Stand up for yourselves.

Don’t buy into the trap of going to a “good school” or nothing. Choose the school you like based on your own factors. Do you prefer big schools or small schools? Local, regional, international? Academic, practical, both? Casual, business-like, formal?

Choose your own subjects. What to experiment with science, or create art? Curious about international economics, or want to debate literature and philosophy? My boyfriend’s brother is a sports buff, and had he been in a Malaysian school, he would be considered a “meathead”, someone not smart enough, just because he wasn’t very academic. Now he’s doing Sports Science in university, which includes Chemistry and Biology – subjects that wouldn’t be open to him if he was in Malaysia. He’s doing OK, because it’s what he’s interested in and he’s putting his energy into it. Why don’t we let other Malaysians have this chance? Why bind them to school grades, and assume that all straight A people are scientists and all straight Fs are artisans?

Don’t let grades tell you what to do. Don’t let anyone else make your decisions for you. Do what you want to do. Make your own choices.

Take back your education.

Young Malaysian Entrepreneurs WANTED for upcoming eBook

Daniel CerVentus, co-founder of Ideapreneur and myself are looking for 21 candidates to be featured in our upcoming eBook about young Malaysian entrepreneurs.

We are looking for the following:

  • Malaysian – doesn’t have to be a citizen, but has to be connected to Malaysia in some way
  • Age 30 and below by 31st Dec 2008
  • Self made or revolutionary in an an existing business/organization – for profit, non-profit, social enterprise
  • Highly respected in their industry
  • Have great passion for what they are doing.
  • A great example what Malaysia have to offer.

Please send all your suggestions to Daniel or myself before 14th February 2008. Thank you!

Gift Guide: Top 24++ Books for the Educated Deviant (or the Deviantly Educated)

Originally, while writing this post, I was going to make a Top 10 gift list that encompassed all sorts of different things for those who love learning differently. However, just the book list became a major list on their own. I may make the others into their own list, but let’s do it in chunks.

It is the holiday season after all, and there’s bound to be a few lifelong learners on your list. Educated deviants are voracious readers, and books make an excellent gift for any holiday or celebration. Here is our mixed bag of recommendations for:

EducateDeviate’s Top 24++ Books for the Educated Deviant

Delaying The Real World by Colleen Kinder and Lonely Planet Gap Year Book

Burnt out by years in school or work? Want a change? Both books provide plenty of resources, ideas, and personal anecdotes about taking time off to do something else. Whether it be interning at a newspaper in Cambodia, or scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, both books give you great ideas on how to get your gap year (or life!) on.

Anything by Free Spirit Publishing, New Society Publishers, or Princeton Architectural Press

Here’s where the “++” come in. These three publishers release plenty of excellent books about education (The Teenager’s Guide to School Outside the Box), activism (The Troublemaker’s Teaparty), and design (D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself). There’s surely something for everyone in their catalogues.

The Artist’s Way (and workbook) by Julia Cameron and The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (and workbook) by Betty Edwards

Everyone is creative, but once in a while we all need some support in rediscovering our creativity. The Artist’s Way is a 12-week course that takes you step by step to rediscovering yourself, your talents, and your passions. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, on the other hand, isn’t just a lesson in visual art: it also trains your brain to notice and think things differently. Besides, scribbling and painting are relaxing.

Be Bold

This new book by Echoing Green highlights the trials and achievements of a number of its Fellows in their quest to make a difference. From a former drug addict who started a recovery program for prisoners with addictions, to a human rights activist campaigning for the rights of people with mental illnesses, the twelve profiles are bound to inspire you to act. There is also a resource list as well as journal pages for you to reflect on how you too can be bold.

Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by Bill Clinton and Banker for the Poor by Muhammad Yunus

In the past couple of years, innovative philanthropy has taken the world by storm, particularly with the Nobel win of Muhammad Yunus and Grameen, as well as the increase in micro-credit programs. Bill Clinton’s book suggests many different ways people can give back to society (not just financially), while Banker to the Poor chonicles Yunus’s life and his journey to developing Grameen to where it is today.

The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman and The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Tired of the typical rat race? Want to define work your own way? Goodman’s and Ferriss’s books describe different options to have a life and make a living, from going freelance to setting up passive income. Both Goodman and Ferriss have blogs, so if you’re hungry for more, subscribe and keep up.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto and Doing School by Denise Clark Pope

How could I have a list of books for the deviantly educated and not have any books on changing education? These two books, while written many years apart, show the dire need for change in today’s education system. Gatto discusses how schools are no more than just employee factories that don’t encourage creativity and innovation, while Pope follows five high-schoolers as they rush and stress in the race to get into top universities. These books will DEFINITELY make you rethink the school system.

The Tipping Point and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, and The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida

The past couple of years has seen a massive rise in nonfiction books that tackle certain topics in innovative ways. Not quite history, not quite politics, not quite philosophy, not quite academic; one bookstore I’ve seen denotes that section as “learn something new every day”. These four books, in my view, started this genre off. Gladwell reexamines how decisions can be made and how they’re influenced, while the Freakonomics duo proposes clever economic causes and effects for seemingly unrelated phenomena. Meanwhile, Florida studies how increasing numbers of people involved in the creative industries can really make an impact in business, communities, and the world.

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was and Refuse to Choose! by Barbara Sher

Interested in a hundred things at once? Don’t worry, that makes you a typical educated deviant. Barbara Sher calls people like us “Scanners”, and she says that there is absolutely no reason why we can’t be passionate about many different things and explore all those passions. Her books provide a plan for working out those passions, and then arranging time for them effectively. She also has a lot of other books about achieving your goals and passions.

What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson and Roadtrip Nation

Along similar lines as Barbara Sher’s books, both Bronson and the Roadtrip Nation crew went out to interview people from all walks of life about their passions and how they got into the path they’re in. The Roadtrip Nation interviews, originally a TV series are a little more career-focused, but they do show how anyone can succeed from any starting point no matter what. Bronson’s interviews, on the other hand, are more heartfelt, and not everyone in his book has necessarily achieved grand success with their passions or even found their passion – but are learning a lot from the process.

Girlosophy: Real Girls’ Stories by Anthea Paul

The female educated deviants in your life will certainly be inspired by the girls profiled in Paul’s book. From a British girl who works as a faerie, to a pair of Sri Lankans facing the prospect of civil strife, and a lot of surfers (Paul supports organizations for young women surfers), each girl tells first-hand her story, her opinions, and her dreams for life. The innovative use of layout for each story is also a great draw. This book is part of the Girlosophy series, which encourages and supports young women to be themselves and live their best lives.

Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson

The version I’m promoting here is actually retitled, in some places, Let’s Not Screw It, Let’s Just Do It, which contains updated information and an entire chapter on climate change. Branson has built his entire life (since he was a teenager) on just acting on ideas instead of waiting for permission. While not all of his ideas worked, most have been great successes, mainly because Branson is willing to take risks and do what it takes to stand out. Here he outlines his basic principles for success (including many stories about balloon rides) and, in the final chapter, urges corporations to take climate change into account.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I find it harder to recommend fiction because tastes tend to be more subjective. However, I found The Alchemist absolutely inspiring to those who dream of exploring and learning more about the world. This tale of a young boy driven to adventure by his (literal) dreams beautifully depicts the importance of paying attention and of following our heart no matter what. It’s a magical fable that will definitely charm any deviant.

Whew! That was a long list. More gift guides might come soon, if I have enough energy to do them. In the meantime, if you have any more recommendations for books, please feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Holidays!

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Want Alternative Education Books in Malaysia? Head to Borders

I am currently wandering around KL to meet friends, and I’ve been carrying my bulky laptop all day (I’m in the midst of changing accommodation). I’m actually in the top floor of Sungei Wang, loud pop music blasting from one side, and I took out my laptop just to write this:

If you’re in Malaysia and want books about alternative education or school reform, your best bet is Borders in Berjaya Times Square, Imbi.

It’s not very easy to find non-mainstream or non-trendy books in Malaysian bookstores, particularly in regional cities. Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are fortunate in that they have the bigger branches of the major bookstore chains and can afford to carry a wider selection. Still, books on alternative education and school reform are hard to find. The Education section tends to carry books on teaching, revision, or tips on succeeding in school; there aren’t many books questioning the notion of school.

However, Borders in Berjaya Times Square has an EXCELLENT selection of books on alternative education and school reform. I finally managed to snag a copy of Denise Clark Pope’s Doing School, after searching it high and low in other bookstores in Malaysia and Australia and even considering buying it from overseas. They also have books from major alternative education thinkers John Taylor Gatto, John Dewey, and John Holt – basically the “it” people of alternative education. (I’m sure them all being named John is a coincidence.) Among the other books in their in-store collection are:

  • The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins, about students who strive to achieve as much as possible in academics and extra-curriculars (which Pope also tackles)
  • The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton by Jerome Karabel, about the culture of admissions standards in Ivy League universities
  • and SO MUCH MORE on teaching at-risk children, class and culture issues, school reform, unschooling, homeschooling, and so much more.

I am in a rush, and my battery is dying, so I will come back to add links and a book list to this post or a later post. I will also post a review of Doing School once I’ve read it. You can find some related books in Times, Kinokuniya, and MPH – Kinokuniya in particular has good books on career choices (including Delaying The Real World, which I reviewed here and bought from there) and activism. But for education in particular, Borders can’t be beat.

BORDERS, if you are reading this – please contact me!

Nominate Young Malaysians – AYA Dream Malaysia Awards & 50 Years, 50 Heroes

UPDATE: The folks at theCICAK are now offering up to RM5000 in prizes!

Do you know a young Malaysian who has done great things in their life? One that has touched others by their actions and deeds? One who is inspiring, heroic, or simply awesome? Give them the recognition they deserve by nominating them for an award or writing about them for an upcoming compilation.

1. The AYA Dream Malaysia Awards aim to encourage individuals and organizations to pursue their dreams despite hurdles and obstacles. Nominees are honoured in the AYA Dream Malaysia Awards Night, with the winners receiving the Durian – a symbol of cracking the hard shell to get to the fruit of your efforts!

Previous nominees and winners include Yvonne Foong, survivor of neurofibromatosis and advocate for awareness about the disease; Suzanne Lee, intrepid explorer and photographer whom I’ve featured here before as a local example of youth initiative; and IDP Education Malaysia, which helps prospective students going to Australia to study.

Nominations are now open for two categories: Most Outstanding Youth and Youth Friendly Company. Youth nominees must be Malaysians aged between 18 – 33, while companies must be incorporated in Malaysia. Shortlisted nominees (chosen by AYA) will be video-interviewed and be up for public voting. Nominations close 12 August 2007.

2. Online Malaysian youth magazine theCICAK is looking for entries for upcoming publication 50 Years, 50 Heroes: Young Malaysians You Need To Know. Like the AYA Dream Malaysia Awards, theCICAK is after stories of young people that have persevered through personal challenges to achieve their dreams, or have helped other people in doing so. These write-ups aim to document young Malaysians who do not normally get press attention, as well as highlight important issues that affect Malaysian youth and society, while inspiring readers to face challenges head-on and live their own lives.

The top three entries will earn their writers up to RM5000 in cash, while the Most Outstanding Hero (chosen by theCICAK readers) will win RM200. The top 50 stories will also be published in a book, with the First Place article being published in The Star. Entries will be judged by well-known Malaysian blogger Jeff Ooi; activist and columnist Marina Mahathir; poet and editor of online Malaysian literary magazine InkyHands, Nicholas Wong; and theCICAK co-founder and director Poh Si Teng.

Writers must be Malaysians aged 15 – 25 while their subjects must be Malaysians aged 12 – 29. Each piece must include at least one photograph of the subject as well as interviews with two other sources (to be collated into a source list with names and contact information). Entries can be in English or Malay and should not exceed 1000 words. Send all entries to write4thecicak@gmail.com with “Heroes” as the subject. Entries close 15 July 2007.

Show your young hero your appreciation – you may get lucky too.

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