WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT EVOLUTIONARY EDUCATION
A New Paradigm for Education
"Brent Zeller's Evolutionary Education should be required reading for educators, coaches and parents alike. Learning is difficult enough, both in sports and academics, without the added stress of ruthless competition.
Once a solid foundation has been achieved and self-confidence established, Zeller points out that competition does have a role, but by introducing competition before all the basic skills are in place, students are often taught to take shortcuts that undermine their overall growth and development.
It's clear that many of our current educational approaches and priorities are not working and now is the time for a major paradigm shift. Brent Zeller's approach to education is a good place to start."
S. Nixon - Biotechnology manager, parent
A Different Approach to the Learning Process
"This book offers solid and practical advice that focuses on ways to improve the learning process. It will change your way of approaching problems in everyday life."
Thoughtful, Solid, Transformational
"From his extensive experience working and teaching - and succeeding at a high level - in the competitive world of tennis, Brent Zeller has an intimate understanding of the dark side of competition, which he explores and explains in clear and compelling detail. Then, even better, he shows many practical alternatives to the competitive frame - which is a kind of trance we fall into by default - for both children and adults. As a psychologist, I really appreciated the depth and care with which Brent treats his subject. This book is the product of years of observation and deep reflection, and I recommend it highly."
Rick Hanson - PhD, psychology, parent
For Those Who Want to Get Better Without Competing with Others
"The author certainly thinks out of the box. In addition to his opinion on competition, the book contains a beautiful mosaic of various philosophies and theories with a common denominator...competition - its pros and cons. I believe that as humans evolve, they will need to find new ways to exercise and live which will be less competitive. I enjoyed a lot reading this book and I recommend it to both competitive and non-competitive people."
A Different Approach to Old Values
"Evolutionary Education was interesting and very readable. Though it seemed to repeat its theme, that was not bad, since the nucleus of Mr. Zeller's proposal/concept/argument is that non-stressed repetition and cooperation leads to improved performance. Repetition is often necessary to get a new or foreign concept into the brain. I recall that neurons and the connected synapses need about 7 repetitions to retain a new memory. Learning without stress and with someone helping is easier than under stress without a teacher or compatriot.
The newness of the concept is that competition does not render the best sports performance. Having invented, developed and sold machinery, I have found that competition, though it stimulates action, often causes release of a product before it is completely ready for the marketplace. Mr. Zeller's book explains this truth through the learning of sports. In the area of sports I have applied this to myself and found that my tennis level has improved. For the next product I develop I will do what I can to apply Mr. Zeller's techniques to have that product completely ready for market sooner."
Michael K. Breslin - Entrepreneur, parent
Skeptical at First...
"As a parent of two children, I have witnessed many of the situations covered by Mr. Zeller in this book. His challenge to us is not to expect change overnight, but yet to do our part in changing our approach to learning everywhere possible.
Especially relevant to me is the concept of 'Mastery.' If the pace of learning is individualized to the student, each individual given the chance to master a topic before rushing to competition may be able to relax and enjoy the learning process.
The book moves quickly through academics, sports and other forms of learning. I recommend this to anyone who coaches or teaches at any age level."
More Than Just a Tennis Book"As a person who is a good but not great athlete, I was attracted to 'Evolutionary Education' as an alternative and possibly better way to develop skills in sports. This book really struck a chord in me. Although focusing on tennis, 'Evolutionary Education' provides more that just a look at the tennis world. I found Mr. Zeller's outlook not only applicable to other sports but to my life in general. For me, this was a life-changing book and I highly recommend it."
M. Feldman - National Salesperson, Parent
Challenge Your Beliefs About Competition and Hear Another View
"Brent Zeller has been in professional sports (tennis) for many years as a player and as a coach. He has seen and experienced what competition brings out and it's not just the pretty things we read about very often.
Competition also brings out the worst in some cases; verbal abuse, parent - child abuse, breaking down under pressure, hating the sport because of many losses and so on.
Brent argues that competition has a place in sports but should be introduced much later in the learning process than it currently is.
I am a tennis coach myself and know exactly what Brent talks about. If you 'force' the students to compete before they are capable of consistent serving, returning and rallying, then you undoubtedly put them into a pressure situation.
While some players eventually end up as very mentally tough, we pay a high price with all the others who in most cases quit tennis because of too much pressure or end up losing the 'big points' over and over again because of the fears of mistakes and losing.
A person's value has nothing to do with some special skills he or she gained in years of practice. Very skilled tennis players are NOT more worthy than less skilled people who may be head and shoulders above them in terms of social skills, politeness, respect and just being a good person.
I highly recommend Brent's book to look at another view of competition and find a more balanced way towards teaching tennis, other sports and raising your children."
Keep an Open Mind
"Excellent overview and insight......a little bit of a 'zen approach' which surely couldn't hurt in this day and age. The quick, competitive method of teaching education, or anything, for that matter, just does not provide for an optimal outcome.....we all need to learn this in everyday life. Thank you, Brent. Someone needs to make a difference."