To help young minds develop their observational, analytical, creative and critical thinking skills
By Lincoln DePradine
Trinidadian-Canadian Glenn Dee, formerly employed at York University, has just published a book, and he has made a promise to young readers.
He’s confident that they will be assisted in “developing their observational, analytical, creative and critical thinking skills’’, Dee writes in the introduction to the 92-page book. “Effective thinking will become as natural and effortless as breathing!’’
Dee’s book is titled, “The Joy of Thinking: Mathematical and Scientific Thinking Skills for Young Minds’’.
A book launch, organized by the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Ontario (TTAO), and hosted by consul-general Tracey Ramsubagh-Mannette, was held last Saturday at Trinidad’s consular office in Toronto.
Dee expressed gratitude for the support he has received in preparing the book and releasing the publication on the commercial market.
“I want to thank everyone for being here and for supporting what we are doing,’’ said Dee, adding that he “feels great’’ that the book now is available to the public, and also calling it “a labour of love’’.
Dee grew up in San Fernando and, after graduating from Saint Benedict’s College, he moved to Port of Spain, where he furthered his studies and joined All Stars Steel Orchestra.
He worked more than 30 years at York University as a lab coordinator and technician in departments such as physics, natural sciences, and earth and atmospheric sciences.
Visual impairment forced him into early retirement, although Dee has continued with private math and science tutoring of students.
A Mississauga resident and TTAO member, Dee acknowledged the blessings of God and the assistance provided in completing the book from several people including educator Shallen Paul-Damon; his children Ginette Ferris and Marcel Dee; and Michael Caille, whom he described as the “transcriber’’ on the project.
“Glenn, with him being visually impaired, somebody needed to be his eyes throughout the process and, that ended up being me. I’d be sitting there, writing everything down; I would kind of change, maybe a few words here and there, to put everything in order,’’ Caille told The Caribbean Camera. “The whole thing is based on all the things that come out of Glenn’s mind.’’
The book includes illustrations, as well as challenges such as puzzles, with answers provided in an organized manner.
It encourages readers to follow the “clear, step-by-step instructions’’ and to do the “fun challenges’’, and expect to “soon be a master problem solver’’ and benefit from “the joy of thinking’’.
“This is a book to help you with your thinking and observational skills, which are important in math. So, if you are able to hone in and to really develop your thinking and observational skills through the exercises that are in this book, that will carry through and carry over into being able to effectively solve math equations and science equations and math problems,’’ Paul-Damon said in an interview.
The idea of the book, she said, came to Dee about 10 years ago. “He’s just been perfecting it and putting it together based on all of his experience in the education world,’’ Paul-Damon explained.
“All of the content, all of the information came from him. It evolved into multiple versions until it got finished,’’ she said. “He applied the skills that are used at the university level and brought it down to skills that elementary students can use, or that adults can use as well, in their everyday life.’’
Paul-Damon noted that new and emerging technology is changing both the school and work environments.
Critical thinking, said Paul-Damon, would enable young people to use technology and take advantage of the opportunities to which they’re going to be exposed and to leverage them to their benefit.
Jean Turner-Williams, who replaced the late Horace Thorne as president of Trinidad & Tobago Association, said that they agreed to support the book launch because a major focus of TTAO is “to help our Caribbean children to stay in school by giving them scholarships. This event comes under education, which is our focus and our goal’’.
“The Joy of Thinking: Mathematical and Scientific Thinking Skills for Young Minds’’ is available for purchase in both hardcover and paperback.
It’s available, among other places, through the publisher FriesenPress and from Amazon.com.