Thursday, September 30, 2021

THINKING IT THROUGH: Coaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers

After many years of work, two educator-administrator authors (Drs. Michael Hibbard and Patricia Cyganovich) have distilled decades of experience into publishing this extensive contribution to educating students to become systematic, effective problem-solvers.

The book publisher's short description:

Thinking It Through: Coaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers guides educators in integrating creative and critical thinking to power the six phases of the Cycle of Problem-Solving: problem-finding and analyzing the audience, researching, generating ideas for solutions, selecting a solution, designing an implementation plan, and self-regulation and setting goals for improvement.

The authors draw from the works of Thomas Friedman, Bena Kallick, Ken Kay, Robert Marzano, Jay McTighe, Daniel Pink, Ken Robinson, Tony Wagner, Grant Wiggins, and Young Zhao in creating a coherent system for teaching to produce independent problem-solvers.

Thinking It Through provides guiding questions to focus on specific skills and attitudes needed to progress through the Cycle of Problem-Solving and four developmental levels of problem-solving.

This book is for classroom teachers, grade-level teams, content-area departments, pupil-service departments, whole schools, and school districts; the strategies are helpful in elementary, middle, and high school disciplines. It is recommended as a textbook for college undergraduate and graduate education programs.

Educators have found the Thinking It Through Cycle and System of Problem-Solving helpful in engaging a school, district, or institution in the life skill of problem-solving.

Creative and critical thinking, communication, collaboration, arts, basic skills, empathy, mindfulness, resilience, perseverance, and positive work habits are problem-solving tools. These are coherently and systematically included in the Cycle and System of Problem-Solving to give educators the theory and strategies needed to empower students to solve the problems of their lifetimes.

Ken Kay, the founding CEO of EdLeader21, concurs, "There will be nothing more essential for students in their personal, professional, and civic lives than to become self-directed, creative problem-solvers."

Noted consultant and co-author of 17 books, including the award-winning Understanding by Design series, Jay McTighe urges, "If you agree, as I do, that problem-solving should be considered a basic skill of a modern education, then this book is for you."

Martin G. Brooks, Executive Director of TriState Consortium, offers this praise for the authors: "I have seen first-hand the transformational work that Drs. Hibbard and Cyganovich initiated and oversaw as school administrators. Their focus on problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation encouraged teachers to do more profound and more meaningful work with students."

Jonathan P. Costa, Sr. Assistant Executive Director, EdAdvance, states: "I have never encountered a pair of leaders more qualified to share insights regarding student agency in problem-solving than Drs. Hibbard and Cyganovich. Thinking It Through is among the most in-depth and thoughtful examinations of the power of shifting the focus of learning to the student that I have encountered. The results represent a unique blend of theory and practice, grounded in the depth and power of the real-world examples they share and explain."

"This work is an incredible contribution to teaching problem-solving," concludes Professor Marcia Delcourt, Coordinator, Ed.D. Instructional Leadership at Western Connecticut State University.

My contribution was to coach the authors and edit the text through my enterprise.

This valuable work is available in paperback format through,, and its publisher, Amazon will be putting the book into Kindle e-reader format, as well.

Here, Amazon provides a substantial free sample  (10%) of the text, along with the opportunity to buy the book:

Thinking It Through: Coaching Students to Be Problem-Solvers

Monday, September 20, 2021

Book Review/Endorsement: DEATHBED EXPERIENCES

 The basis of my endorsement of Dr. J. Steve Miller's exceptional study, a work that seems likely to become a classic.



Author: J. Steve Miller, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA


This extraordinary book, this scholarly tome, will set the agenda for future studies of the phenomena associated with “life after death” or “deathbed experiences,” happenings that indicate what happens to us as we pass from life to death and the hereafter. Prof. Miller’s 400-plus pages of closely argued text, with nearly 800 footnotes and approximately 1000 references, set a research standard hard to match, essential to those interested in the topic.

In the future, scholars unfamiliar with this work will be identifying themselves as producing analyses warranting little serious attention.

As a semi-retired scientist, a physicist/engineer with a long history of interest in not only science but also philosophy, I was privileged to receive a nearly final Advance Review Copy from Prof. Miller, an acquaintance through internet correspondence. I spent decades as an agnostic, only recently returning to the Christian faith, as a lapsed Protestant who views the Bible as history written by fallible mortals.

Prof. Miller’s book is so well-argued that it has moved me from hoping there is a life after death to expecting that there is, being only somewhat short of certain.

Here’s the book’s outline, in brief:


Part I: Examining DBE Phenomena

Chapter One. Phenomena Before Death

Chapter Two: Phenomena at Death

Chapter Three: Phenomena After Death

Chapter Four: Phenomena Throughout the Death Experience

Chapter Five: Conclusions from the Evidence


Part II: Challenges from Science and Naturalism

Chapter Six: Charges That the Evidence Isn’t Scientific

Chapter Seven: Challenges to the Afterlife Hypothesis


Part III: Deathbed Experiences and Christianity

Chapter Eight: Comparing DBE and NDE Research to Christian Teachings





The appendices include definitions of key terms, an example of a detailed DBE report, the math behind a major British Census study, application of Bayesian statistical analysis, a tabulation of scientific journals in which related work is found, and an extensive discussion of Rev. John MacArthur’s theological criticism of NDE.

The range and depth of this work are breathtaking, beyond this reviewer’s ken in several areas. Two areas raised questions for me: first, an early anecdote about Mark Twain’s detailed vision of the funeral arrangements for his younger, distant brother before the boy’s death…how do we have the effect (the vision) before we have the cause (the death)? Second, the correct application of Bayes’s theorem to improve our estimate of the probability of the existence of an afterlife, from new information, a topic for future research.

This profound and carefully researched book will encourage all who hope for a life after death in the presence of a just and benevolent God.


Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.

Formerly, Associate Professor of Environmental Physics

Harvard (now, Chan) Graduate School of Public Health



Available from, among others,

Saturday, September 18, 2021

CALORIES DON'T COUNT? Diet and Weight Gain

 Good fifty-minute talk on diet and weight gain.

We process sugars so as to get all their calories, but get less available from fats and proteins. More details, but you still need to control "available calories" to help control your weight:

Sunday, September 12, 2021

WRITE YOUR BOOK Podcast with Russ Hedge

 It has never been easier to write and publish a book!

Russ Hedge discusses the ins and outs with Douglas Winslow Cooper, PhD, a former Harvard professor who has helped others finish and publish over 40 books in the last ten years via his Write Your Book With Me

To view it, paste the link into your browser.