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December 15th 2008 print

Michael Connor

Give Australia a Little Black Christmas

Education minister Julia Gillard could improve Australian education by forgetting about free Google machines and handing the kids copies of Mark Lopez’s The Little Black Schoolbook. While waiting for her to do so you might consider putting it on your own Christmas giving list.

Education minister Julia Gillard could improve education by forgetting about free Google machines and handing the kids copies of Mark Lopez’s The Little Black Schoolbook (published by Connor Court). While waiting for her to do so you might consider putting it on your own Christmas giving list.

Mark Lopez’s book is seriously good. It teaches the skills of research, essay writing, clear thinking, and expression. It also explains what school teachers and university tutors and lecturers are looking for in essays and how to use these insights to improve grades.

This is a book for families with children at school or about to enter university. It is also invaluable for those already on campus wondering why they are not seeing results for all the work they are doing.

On the Connor Court website is an entertaining video of Mark Lopez talking about his book. It is also very serious. Lopez draws an accurate picture of our miserable education system but optimistically points to ways for successfully using it to get ahead and achieving a real education.

Gillard will never get around to giving it out to the students who need it but you could. The Little Black Schoolbook (written by a well known Quadrant contributor) is worth a prominent place on your Christmas giving list.

A sensible book, a sensible publisher – two endangered species in our times.