The book is learner-centered. The authors have based their ideas on the experiences of college students right from the date of enrollment in graduation year. In other words, the authors have provided some insights into the opinion of college students on how to share an educational experience with the next generation college students (Bell, McGrane, Anderson, & Gunderson, 2011).
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The book is divided into three main parts: academics and learning, navigating the institution, and survival strategies (Bell et al., 2011). The first part, academics, and learning entail the initial experiences of the students. The authors managed to summarise all these initial encounters into four parts: arrival at college, grades attained, technology and learning, and the way other students behave towards their fellow students.
The second part, navigating the institution, entails some interactions with institutional leaders, wisdom in academics, and adventures in de-socialization. The third part is divided into three parts: survival skills, love, and trouble with the parents. These three parts are also mentioned in the first three editions. However, the distinguishing aspect is technology.
The credibility of the book
The authors of the book are well qualified and experienced in the field of sociology. For instance, Bell is a Ph.D. from California University. Bernard McGrane holds a similar qualification, but from the University of New York. Last but not least, John Gunderson holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Claremont. Therefore, the information provided in the book is scholarly and can be relied upon by sociology students (Bell et al., 2011).
The book is inclusive. The authors looked at the experiences of students from the academic perspective, social perspective, religious and technological perspectives. The authors took the view on the premise that most experiences at college are encountered outside their formal learning routine (Bell et al., 2011). Students interact more outside their normal school or academic routine.
The developmental concept is one of the sociological theories used by the authors to conduct their research. For instance, the authors have been able to explain in detail the developmental aspect of college students’ life as a whole, from religious to educational aspects.
The purpose of the book
This book is intended to fill a gap in the existing literature. The authors have managed to achieve this by critically exploring a topic that other scholars have neglected. Previous studies emphasized the Serious Emotional Disturbance of students in their studies (Biggins & Vaininetti, 2000). Most past studies do not provide an educational experience to college students but are only intended to provide some specific information on matters such as emotional disturbance amongst college students.
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Bell et al. (2011) have managed to fill this gap. These authors have been able to connect the link between the college experiences and emotional aspects in colleges. Their study has explored the sociological aspect, personal aspect, intellectual aspect, the technological aspect, and spiritual demands of all college studies. Furthermore, these authors explored the opportunities available to students and incorporated new materials (personal reflection) that are relevant to contemporary students.
Comparing with other books
Comparing with other sociology books used in class, the book is actually required. The first three editions of this book focused on the personal aspect, the social aspect, the intellectual aspect, and the spiritual demands of college students. However, the fourth edition used a direct writing style. The themes espoused in the previous editions have also been captured in the latest edition. The formatting and the style of writing used were professional and mett the standards of a college education.
Bell, I., McGrane, B., Anderson, T., & Gunderson, J. (2011). This Book Is Not Required: An Emotional Survival Manual for Students (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Pine Forge Press.
Biggins, C., & Vaininetti, M. (2000). Guidelines for Identifying and Educating Students with Serious Emotional Disturbance. Connecticut, CN: State of Connecticut Department of Education.
Muratori, M. (2007). Early entrance to college: a guide to success (2nd Ed.). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.
Piven, F., & Cloward, R. (1978). Poor People’s Movements (1st ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporate.