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Philosophy & Social Aspects

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  1. 7.9 hrs • 8/17/2016 • Unabridged

    “Let old ones go. Dont be a memory-monger! Once you were young──now you are even younger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil. Beyond Good and Evil is a collection of essays and aphorisms in which Friedrich Nietzsche expresses his desire for a “transvaluation of all values.” He contends that no human values are absolute; that all value distinctions (such as that between ‘good’ and ‘evil’) are artificial, the result of mere traditional prejudices; and that humanity should discard its old, outmoded values (such as ‘good’ and ‘evil’).

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    Beyond Good and Evil

    7.9 hrs • 8/17/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 2.9 hrs • 2/17/2015 • Unabridged

    America has been steadily sliding in global education rankings for decades. In particular, our students are increasingly unable to compete globally in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), in 2010 only 26 percent of high school seniors in the United States scored at or above a proficient level in math. Another 36 percent were failing. Only 3 percent scored at an advanced level in math, and only 1 percent scored at an advanced level in science. Students in K-12 across the United States struggle with STEM subjects, often because the subjects are poorly presented or badly taught. When students reach college, they choose to pursue non-STEM degrees, and too many struggle to find jobs upon graduation. Meanwhile, United States employers are having an increasingly hard time filling STEM jobs. Economic projections for the next decade show we will need approximately 1 million more professionals in STEM fields than our education system will produce. If we want to maintain our historical preeminence in science and technology, we must increase the number of students graduating with STEM degrees by 34 percent each year. One Nation Under Taught offers a clear solution, providing a blueprint for helping students fall in love with STEM subjects, and giving them the tools they need to succeed and go on for further study in these fields. The audiobook challenges our whole way of thinking about education and encourages educators and policy-makers at all levels to work together to make our schools places that promote curiosity and inspire a love of learning. If we do not change course, we will set our students and our country on the path to a lifetime of poverty. But if we can implement the reforms Dr. Bertram suggests, we can achieve long-lasting prosperity for our children and our nation as a whole.

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    One Nation Under Taught

    Foreword by Steve Forbes
    Read by Tom Parks
    2.9 hrs • 2/17/15 • Unabridged
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  3. 3.3 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    This radical treatise on public education has been a bestseller in print for ten years. Thirty years in New York City’s public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. This edition describes the wide-spread impact of the book, Gatto’s “guerrilla teaching,” and includes Gatto’s updates to his theories on how the US educational system cranks out students the way Detroit cranks out Buicks.

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    Dumbing Us Down

    3.3 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  4. 10.8 hrs • 9/1/2014 • Unabridged

    We’ve all had great teachers who opened new worlds and maybe even changed our lives. What made them so great? Everyone agrees that a great teacher can have an enormous impact. Yet we still don’t know what, precisely, makes a teacher great. Is it a matter of natural-born charisma? Or does exceptional teaching require something more? Building a Better Teacher introduces a new generation of educators exploring the intricate science underlying their art. A former principal studies the country’s star teachers and discovers a set of common techniques that help children pay attention. Two math teachers videotape a year of lessons and develop an approach that has nine-year-olds writing sophisticated mathematical proofs. A former high school teacher works with a top English instructor to pinpoint the key interactions a teacher must foster to initiate a rich classroom discussion. Through their stories, and the hilarious and heartbreaking theater that unfolds in the classroom every day, Elizabeth Green takes us on a journey into the heart of a profession that impacts every child in America. What happens in the classroom of a great teacher? Opening with a moment-by-moment portrait of an everyday math lesson—a drama of urgent decisions and artful maneuvers—Building a Better Teacher demonstrates the unexpected complexity of teaching. Green focuses on the questions that really matter: How do we prepare teachers, and what should they know before they enter the classroom? How does one get young minds to reason, conjecture, prove, and understand? What are the keys to good discipline? Incorporating new research from cognitive psychologists and education specialists as well as intrepid classroom entrepreneurs, Green provides a new way for parents to judge what their children need in the classroom and considers how to scale good ideas. Ultimately, Green discovers that good teaching is a skill—a skill that can be taught. A provocative and hopeful book, Building a Better Teacher shows that legendary teachers are more than inspiring; they are perhaps the greatest craftspeople of all.

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    Building a Better Teacher

    10.8 hrs • 9/1/14 • Unabridged
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  5. 8.6 hrs • 8/19/2014 • Unabridged

    A groundbreaking manifesto for people searching for the kind of insight on leading, thinking, and living that elite schools should be—but aren’t—providing As a professor at Yale, Bill Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation’s brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively, and how to find a sense of purpose. Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics and computer science, students are losing the ability to think in innovative ways. Deresiewicz explains how college should be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success, so they can forge their own path. He addresses parents, students, educators, and anyone who is interested in the direction of American society, featuring quotes from real students and graduates he has corresponded with over the years, candidly exposing where the system is broken and clearly presenting solutions.

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    Excellent Sheep

    8.6 hrs • 8/19/14 • Unabridged
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  6. 5.0 hrs • 6/1/2014 • Unabridged

    Middle School Makeover is a guide for parents and educators to help the tweens in their lives navigate the socially fraught hallways, gyms, and cafeterias of middle school. This audiobook helps parents, teachers, and other adults in middle school settings to understand the social dilemmas and other issues that kids today face. Author Michelle Icard covers a large range of topics, beginning with helping us understand what is happening in the brains of tweens and how these neurological developments affect decision-making and questions around identity. She also addresses social media, dating, and peer exclusion. Using both recent research and her personal, extensive experience working with middle-school-aged kids and their parents, Icard offers listeners concrete and practical advice for guiding children through this chaotic developmental stage while also building their confidence.

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    Middle School Makeover

    5.0 hrs • 6/1/14 • Unabridged
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  7. 0.2 hrs • 4/22/2014 • Unabridged

    Three months after George Saunders gave a convocation address at Syracuse University, a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of the New York Times, where its simple, uplifting message struck a deep chord. Within days, it had been shared more than one million times. Why? Because Saunders’ words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder, more fulfilling lives. Powerful, funny, and wise, Congratulations, by the Way is an inspiring message from one of today’s most influential and original writers.

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    Congratulations, by the Way

    0.2 hrs • 4/22/14 • Unabridged
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  8. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    8.9 hrs • 4/2/2013 • Unabridged

    Nine-year-olds can solve the world’s toughest problems. In John Hunter’s classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking “World Peace Game.” These kids—from high school to fourth grade, in schools both well-funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change. In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he’s gleaned from more than thirty years of teaching his game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful audiobook, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.

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    World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements

    8.9 hrs • 4/2/13 • Unabridged
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  9. 2.5 hrs • 3/29/2012 • Unabridged

    The right book at the right time: an impassioned defense of teachers and why our society needs them now more than ever. Former middle-school teacher and teachers’ advocate, Taylor Mali, struck a chord with his passionate response to a man at a dinner party who asked him what kind of salary teachers make—a poetic rant that has been seen and forwarded millions of times on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Based on the poem that inspired a movement, What Teachers Make is Mali’s sharp, funny, reflective, and critical call to arms about the joys of teaching and why teachers are so vital to America today. It’s a book that will be treasured and shared by every teacher in America—and everyone who’s ever loved or learned from one.

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    What Teachers Make

    2.5 hrs • 3/29/12 • Unabridged
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  10. 7.7 hrs • 6/22/2011 • Unabridged

    Every morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Joe Kernen asks challenging questions. And at home he does the same with his young daughter, Blake. What are you learning in school? What TV shows do you like? What message did you get from that movie? When Blake was nine, her answers told Joe that she had already absorbed a distorted view of economics—from her school, pop culture (even animated movies!), and just about everywhere else. She was learning that capitalism is unavoidably immoral, that business people can’t be trusted, especially if they run big companies like BP or Walmart, that trade is bad because it hurts American workers, and that no matter how bad things get, the government will always bail us out. Joe admits that he shouldn’t have been surprised in an era when Washington casually takes over car companies and spends a trillion dollars “stimulating” the economy. But he was outraged and determined to do something about it. If he couldn’t fix our education system or Hollywood, at least he could teach Blake how capitalism really works and why it’s worth defending. He started by asking her to write down phrases she didn’t understand (“What’s physical stimulus?”). That led to discussions of some tricky ideas, like credit and the time value of money. In theory a dollar today is always worth more than a dollar next year—but not to someone whose purchases are always paid for by someone else. Joe and Blake talked about the pluses (small) and minuses (huge) of unions—including the unionized teachers who disparage the free enterprise system that pays their salaries. They investigated the complicated process by which even the simplest manufactured items get made, without anyone directing from above. They puzzled out the truth about so-called fair trade: rather than help poor farmers, it helps keep farmers poor. They learned the differences between Europe and America, and why free health care isn’t really free. And they discovered what nine-year-olds have in common with grown-up progressives: both love to regulate private behavior and think that anything bad—like smoking or eating too much fast food—should be prohibited by law. Ultimately, Joe convinced Blake that capitalism isn’t about greed; it’s about freedom. As she writes in one of her sections: “When I have to go to the store to buy a net for my aquarium (I have puffer fish) I can find a lot of nets, but no one told the store which ones to put on the shelf, and no one told the companies that make the nets how many to make, and no one told the companies that deliver the nets when to bring them. Or rather, everyone told them. Millions of ordinary people deciding what to buy and sell are smarter than even the hundred smartest people in the world.”

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    Your Teacher Said What?!

    7.7 hrs • 6/22/11 • Unabridged
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  11. 15.1 hrs • 5/3/2011 • Unabridged

    In a smart, entertaining, reassuring book that reads like fiction, Alexandra Robbins manages to cross Gossip Girl with Freaks and Geeks and explain the fascinating psychology and science behind popularity and outcasthood. She reveals that the things that set students apart in high school are the things that help them stand out later in life. Robbins follows seven real people grappling with the uncertainties of high school social life, including:The loner, who has withdrawn from classmates since they persuaded her to unwittingly join her own hate clubThe popular bitch, a cheerleading captain both seduced by and trapped within her clique’s perceived prestigeThe nerd, whose differences cause students to laugh at him and his mother to needle him for not being “normal”The new girl, determined to stay positive as classmates harass her for her mannerisms and target her because of her raceThe gamer, an underachiever in danger of not graduating, despite his intellect and his yearning to connect with other studentsThe weird girl, who battles discrimination and gossipy politics in school but leads a joyous life outside of itThe band geek, who is alternately branded too serious and too emo, yet annually runs for class president In the middle of the year, Robbins surprises her subjects with a secret challenge—experiments that force them to change how classmates see them. Robbins intertwines these narratives—often triumphant, occasionally heartbreaking, and always captivating—with essays exploring subjects like the secrets of popularity, being excluded doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, why outsiders succeed, how schools make the social scene worse—and how to fix it. The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is not just essential reading for students, teachers, parents, and anyone who deals with teenagers, but for all of us, because at some point in our lives we’ve all been on the outside looking in.

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    The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

    15.1 hrs • 5/3/11 • Unabridged
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  12. 7.1 hrs • 4/12/2011 • Unabridged

    The True, the Good, and the Beautiful are as timeless a trio of concepts as Western culture has to offer. Since before Socrates, humankind has explored these virtues in an attempt to describe and categorize them. Our definitions of these concepts, moreover, have unceasingly changed over the ages and across continents. Every known civilization has developed its own interpretations of them and so has confronted difficult questions: Is truthfulness inherent or inculcated? Is beauty achieved or a gift bestowed by the gods? Is goodness a birthright or determined by society? In Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed, Howard Gardner explores the meaning of these virtues in a contemporary world of vast technological change and relativistic understandings of human nature. Today’s technologically saturated era poses profound challenges to once uncontroversial assertions of what is good. Our search for truth is besieged by a miasma of blogs, forums, and open-source references that obscure the origins of information, and tabloids, cable news, and talk radio that proffer the most convenient, popular, and profitable truths. Our understanding of beauty is bombarded by air-brushed advertisements and photoshopped portrayals of perfection. And the concept of the good is increasingly politicized and debated as we determine who is a terrorist and who is a freedom fighter, which liberties are inexorable and which are negotiable in the name of national security. In this incisive and elucidating study, Gardner reveals that while the concepts of truth, beauty, and the good are changing faster than ever, they are—and will remain—cornerstones of our society. These virtues, though in flux and under attack, are essential to the human experience. While they may be obscured and exploited, we must continue to pursue truth, beauty, and goodness to ever-greater heights. This insightful, illuminating analysis provides an approachable primer on the foundations of ethics and virtue in this modern age.

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    Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed by Howard Gardner

    Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed

    7.1 hrs • 4/12/11 • Unabridged
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  13. 2.9 hrs • 1/1/2007 • Unabridged

    This presentation discusses two political documents that have changed history: Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx argues that history flows inevitably toward a social revolution, which will result in a society without economic classes, private property, or a state. This presentation examines Marx’s theory and goals and the influence of other philosophers on his work. Rousseau believed that people secure their liberty by entering into an implied contract with government. His controversial explanation of social authority in Social Contract fanned the flames of the French Revolution. This presentation explores the implications of his concept of social order for individual freedom and social good. The Giants of Political Thought Series offers an easy and entertaining way to broaden your mind and your awareness of great ideas.

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    Communist Manifesto and Social Contract by Ralph Raico, Wendy McElroy

    Communist Manifesto and Social Contract

    Read by Craig Deitschmann and a supporting cast
    2.9 hrs • 1/1/07 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    2.7 hrs • 1/1/2007 • Unabridged

    China’s two greatest philosophers, Confucius and Lao Tzu, were intensely interested in how we should live and how a good society is governed. The central concepts of Confucianism are li, the proper ordering of society through rituals and ceremonies, and zhen, the proper ordering of the self through humaneness, benevolence, and love. Daoism, taught under such masters as Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi, meditates on the interdependence of opposites and teaches the path of non-resistance. Westerners are only now beginning to understand the central importance of the tradition and community emphasized in Chinese thought for over two thousand years. The World of Philosophy series is a dramatic presentation, in understandable language, of the concerns, questions, interests, and overall outlook of the world’s great philosophers and philosophical traditions. Special emphasis on clear and relevant explanations gives you a new arsenal of insights toward living a better life.

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    Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Chinese Philosophy by Prof. Crispin Sartwell

    Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Chinese Philosophy

    2.7 hrs • 1/1/07 • Unabridged
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  15. 2.9 hrs • 4/26/2006 • Unabridged

    Bertrand Russell and A.N. Whitehead coauthored a seminal work in logic entitled Principia Mathematica. Russell wrote on virtually every aspect of philosophy, with particular contributions in ethics (where he championed important innovations). Whitehead developed one of the great philosophical systems of the century, attempting to harmonize science and values and to reconcile religion and philosophy. The World of Philosophy series is a dramatic presentation, in understandable language, of the concerns, questions, interests, and overall outlook of the world’s great philosophers and philosophical traditions. Special emphasis on clear and relevant explanations gives you a new arsenal of insights toward living a better life.

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    Bertrand Russell and A. N. Whitehead by Prof. Paul Kuntz
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  16. 2.2 hrs • 4/1/2006 • Unabridged

    A Portuguese Jew living in Holland, Spinoza was excommunicated because of the unorthodox view he took of God. Spinoza wrote in the rationalist style of a geometric proof to develop his idea of God as the infinite, indwelling cause of all things, a unified causal system that is virtually synonymous with nature. In this system, there is no free will, for all things are necessary and inevitable, and all objects, including humans, are part of God’s active self-expression. Human fulfillment is possible, he believed, only by rejecting our finite, flawed selves and identifying with the eternal within us. The Giants of Philosophy series is a collection of dramatic presentations, in understandable language, of the concerns, questions, interests, and overall outlook of the world’s great philosophers and philosophical traditions. Special emphasis on clear and relevant explanations gives you a new arsenal of insights toward living a better life.

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    Baruch Spinoza by Prof. Thomas Cook
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