Book Review: The Call to Brilliance, by Resa Steindel Brown

I don’t remember where I first heard about this book, but I read a glowing recommendation of it somewhere, and I put it on my to-read list. There’s a blurb on the back of the book from Peter Kline, author of The Everyday Genius, calling The Call to Brilliance, “quite simply the best book on education ever written.” While I think that praise may be a little over-generous, I would still designate The Call to Brilliance as a “must-read” for parents and teachers.

It’s partly a memoir of the educational journeys of Resa and her three children and partly educational philosophy. The purpose of the book is more to inspire (it will) than to equip (there are very few practical suggestions). The Call to Brilliance emphasizes giving a child plenty of time and resources to develop his innate brilliance–his natural interests and strengths. Resa asserts that this is the way to raise a creative, self-reliant, life-long learner. If I had to put a name on the philosophy espoused in this book, I would call it “Waldorf” or “unschooling.”

Homeschoolers especially will benefit from this book (be aware that it contains some New Age and Buddhist influences), but I would be interested in reading a follow-up book with practical ideas for discovering a child’s brilliance and working with it, especially in a public school setting. What are some ways that a teacher with 30 or more students could apply this philosophy?

My rating: 4/5


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