The future will belong to children with innovative minds. Which is why this team of education experts have drawn on their decades of applied research in creativity, individuality, play, and media to craft an engaging guide for parents who understand that creative thinking skills are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for success in the new, grown-up world of work. The book introduces the Sensory Alphabet, basic building blocks that are as powerful for building twenty-first-century literacies as the ABCs are for readingand that are lacking in schools today. The Missing Alphabet also offers foundational knowledge, current research and a pragmatic path for parents to understand the individual strengths and creative potential that will help their own children learn productively in the future. To turn these ideas into action, there is a Field Guide full of resources and activities for parents and kids to explore together at home, in museums, and around the neighborhood. This tried-and-true approach engages children with the creative thinking process, the capacity to invent with many media, the ability to think across disciplines, and the reliance on (and joy in) the imagination. Over the past forty years, the authors have developed highly successful programs for both in and out-of-school settings based on these concepts. Now, they offer parents a comprehensive guide for building the confidence and creative thinking skills for their own childrenand now urgently needed for our collective future.
Susan Marcus, Susie Monday and Cynthia Herbert, PhD, are deeply experienced researchers, program designers, educators, trainers and authors. They were co-founders of the Learning About Learning Educational Foundation, a future-oriented organization in San Antonio, Texas (1971 1985). Cynthia, a developmental psychologist, led LAL s Lab School, recognized as a national model for learning through the arts. She is also the former Director of the Texas Alliance for Education and the Arts and a specialist in Differentiated Education, providing educators with strategies and support to help diverse children learn, create and thrive. Susie has also worked as a journalist, children s museum designer and educational consultant. She maintains a Texas Hill Country studio as a textile artist and is an adjunct faculty member of the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio. Susan has also worked as a consultant to museums and children s program designer. She is the co-author (with Herbert) of Everychild s Everyday (Doubleday) and When I Was Just Your Age (University of North Texas Press), and (with Monday) New World Kids (FoundryMedia). Responding to the educational imperatives of the 21st century, they have once again collaborated, forming The Foundry in Austin to produce programs in creative thinking for children, parents, and professional development for educators."