Beyond Counterfeit Reforms: Forging an Authentic Future for All Learners
William Spady, Ian Jukes, and Ursula Ahern
When it comes to human behavior, there is a degree of irrationality that can become so dominant that it takes us on a crash course to the wrong conclusion. William Spady, Ian Jukes, and Ursula Ahern believe this idea may be exactly what has happened over the last century of education reform efforts. In their book, Beyond Counterfeit Reforms, they return to an often dormant topic of discussion—the learners. Looking at the traditional system, they simply ask, “Why do we do this?” Explore this question and more in this intentional text, and ask your own questions about what you believe is necessary in today’s world of educating our youth.
Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit
Parker J. Palmer
As education stakeholders, we sign on to a mission that often lies well outside our immediate job descriptions. Our work is centered on awakening the power of the human spirit—in our children, our colleagues, and ourselves. With this context operating in the background, it is a prerequisite to step outside the relatively narrow discussion of “education” and enter a discussion on what it means to create community, togetherness, and a positive culture. In Parker J. Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy, he invites readers to reconnect with what it means to say “of the people, by the people, for the people.” And, with his insights, you may discover a new sense of empowerment within your daily work.
Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World
Adam M. Grant
Transformative work, by its nature, brings on a hard-to-quantify amount of risk. It forces us into a state of discomfort, not knowing what’s awaiting us on the other side. But, once we step up and accept this state of being, we begin seeing a future worth giving every second of our time to. Adam M. Grant, in his New York Times best-selling book, Originals, identified this characteristic through stories and studies that spanned a wide-array of industries. In his work, discover how you can step even further into the unknown with confidence and conviction.
Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
It should come as no surprise that children and adults are at two very different stages in their human development. But, when adults sought to create an education system to bridge the gap between childhood and adulthood in an orderly and measurable fashion, they all but removed the young learner from the equation. Peter Gray, developmental psychologist and author of Free to Learn, was appalled by this reality. As an expert in the developmental needs of young learners, he couldn’t help but notice how the traditional system was working against these needs. He asked, “Where’s the play, the social participation, the curiosity enhancers, the unique and unexpected problems to solve?” Through this inquiry, Gray invites adults to reimagine what it means to educate.
Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World
Are you ready for a question that never goes away—What’s worth learning? Or, as young learners like to phrase it, “Why do I need to know this?” Regardless of how redundant this question may seem, it never loses its legitimacy. And, there’s good reason to continue asking it. In Future Wise, author David Perkins, founding member of Harvard’s Project Zero, takes this question and runs with it. Perkins’ simple answer is: “It depends.” His focus is on inviting education stakeholders to develop a framework that allows this question to be answered fruitfully in any given moment, for any given topic or model of learning.
Outliers: The Story of Success
Behind every success story there is a hard-fought journey through adversity, self-doubt, and a little (or a lot of) good luck. These stories, as Malcolm Gladwell discovered through his work for Outliers, are far more important to study than individual personalities. How does this relate to education? As you read through Gladwell’s insights, you can reflect on the personalized, relevant, and contextualized learning young learners are engaging with in your environment. You can ask how their lived experience is being utilized to enhance the development of their knowledge, skills, and dispositions.