Parents may marvel at the individual differences among their children, or between their own children and those of others.
But as students move through classes from year to year, teachers get a front row seat on the longer trends. (As a college professor myself I have not only noted this but have heard other professors making similar observations.)
Written by long-time high school teacher and astrologer, Alex Trenoweth's book Growing Pains provides an excellent framework for exploring the subtle but real differences between one year’s cohort and the next. Using an astrological lens, she deftly challenges the notion that there is a single best practice in education.
Growing Pains adds an extra dimension to debates about how we educate children. Addressing issues of learning style, communication, it also answers questions for educators and parents how to best support children during school years.
Throughout the book, Alex explains how valuable understanding astrology can be for supporting a child’s growth and development. What drives these children? How do pupils learn when they have specific planet patterns?
Her analysis focuses on the cycles of the “social planets,” Jupiter and Saturn — viewing Jupiter cycles as opportunity for growth and Saturn cycles as key to how students relate to fears, responsibilities and discipline.
Since it focuses on two planets that are not considered personal in nature (after all, they remain in the same sign for a year or more), the book is not a comprehensive guide to individual personality via astrology. Yet learning strategies and participating in one’s culture are critical for children; a greater understanding of these processes can be helpful from preschool through adolescence and into college.
So, though Growing Pains is written by an educator for educators, it is a valuable tool for parents and others interested in astrology as a practical tool. Readers also receive suggestions how to be a better parent or teacher based on the aspects in their own chart.
Growing Pains is neatly structured so the reader knows what to expect. Each chapter begins by examining in depth Jupiter or Saturn through one sign. This signature is then further refined by exploring the ruling planet through each of the twelve Zodiac signs. Finally, at the end of each chapter, the author uses celebrity charts as case studies to illuminate how social planet transits correlate to transition points over a lifetime for well known people.
While the book can be read from start to finish, most people will probably want to dive into a relevant chapter and read about themselves, their children, or their current crop of students. Starting with some background on Saturn and Jupiter provided at the beginning of each of the two main sections of the book, it is easy for someone who has no previous astrological knowledge to read through Growing Pains in any order.
While the use of astrology as a regular facet of mainstream education may be a ways off, there’s no reason that interested parents and educators can’t begin using it now. Growing Pains is an excellent start. It is clearly written and easy to use, offering insight into the joyous but turbulent process of growing up.
Alex is clearly passionate about supporting children make the most of their lives. Growing Pains gives readers empowering suggestions to consciously encourage the growth and development of the adolescents in their lives.
(Kathryn Andren also contributed to this review)
Author: Alex Trenoweth
Release Date: July 2013
Subject: Astrology & Education
Amazon Rating: 4.5 Stars