Reinventing Schools: It’s Time to Break the Mold

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9781475802399: Reinventing Schools: It’s Time to Break the Mold
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Since A Nation at Risk was published in 1983, there has been widespread recognition that public education is failing in the U.S. Numerous expensive reforms have been attempted to no avail, and costs have increased dramatically. Furthermore, economic austerity requires educational systems to do more with less. This book presents convincing evidence that paradigm change – such as the change of lighting systems from the candle to the light bulb – is the only way to significantly improve student learning and simultaneously lower costs.
The authors provide a thought-provoking vision of the new paradigm, including a new brain-based pedagogy, a new professional role for teachers, a new central role for technology, and even a new more empowered role for students and parents. The authors also describe three examples – a school, a school district, and a school model – that have implemented many features of the new paradigm, along with evidence of their effectiveness. Finally, this book describes ways we can transform our Industrial-Age school systems to the new paradigm, including ways our state and federal governments can help.

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About the Author:

Charles Reigeluth felt frustration with his own schooling so he decided when he was 16 years old to devote his career to help make education a lot more motivating, effective, and efficient. He taught high school for three years, was a professor at Indiana University doing field research for 25 years, and helped a small school district in Indianapolis to engage in a reinvention process for 12 years.

Jennifer Karnopp has a Masters in Special Education and has been an advocate for child-centered education for the past 20 years, working in both traditional schools and non-traditional education settings. Most recently she is a founder and current Head of School at the Robert Frost Charter School in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Review:

Charles M. Reigeluth and Jennifer Karnopp have written a book that should be read by educational leaders sincerely and devotedly concerned about the future of education in the 'Information Age' and enhancing the thinking skills of their students. ... This is a good book. ... Truly progressive, charter, and private schools could benefit greatly from some of the ideas in [this] book. (Educational Technology)

This is a most timely book, wonderful in its research-validity and clear message to us all. It is easy to read, very compelling, and an important plan for changing the paradigm in directions sorely needed at all system levels. Dr. Reigeluth and I have been colleagues for a long time and have built our respective models on similar learner-centered principles that are truths about the nature of learning and change. I greatly admire Charlie's skills and know this book will make a huge difference for all our children and ourselves. It brings a needed message of hope in these troubled times. (Barbara L. McCombs, Ph.D., senior research scientist and director, Center for Human Motivation, Learning and development, Applied Research & Technology Institute, University of Denver)

There is a systemic crisis in American education. It’s not new. Many know it. Some deny it. Some are blissfully unaware of it. Some don’t want to resolve it because their careers are built around trying to resolve it. Repeated attempts to resolve the crisis have failed and will continue to fail because the approach to resolving the crisis (short-term quick fixes otherwise known as piecemeal change) is outdated and ineffective. Charles Reigeluth, one of the world’s premier experts on transformational paradigm change and Jennifer Karnopp’s new book offers readers deep insights to the systemic crisis and what to do about it. Their book helps readers to see that the need is great, the time is right, and “whole” school systems must be transformed. This is, therefore, a book that must be in the hands of every policy-maker, state superintendent of schools, and school system superintendents who recognize the crisis and who want to do something about it. (Francis M. Duffy)

While there are many views about what ails our public education system, few disagree that it is in need of change. We collectively lament the fact that the U.S. has been falling behind in global rankings and point to countries like Finland and Singapore as models to emulate, yet we seem unable to take on the full systems approach that is behind their successes. In Reinventing Schools, the authors focus their attention appropriately on changing the underlying structures of our education system that were built for the Industrial Age and offer a new vision of a wholly different kind of system to meet the needs of the Information Age. As a nation, we have talked and tinkered long enough with piecemeal solutions. It is time to tackle the difficult but necessary challenge of whole system transformation. Reigeluth and Karnopp offer a robust systemic approach through their "six core ideas of the Information Age education paradigm" that can provide us with an overarching vision for aligning the numerous fragmented change efforts underway towards a common goal of building the kind of schools our children deserve and our nation needs. (Dr. Daniel H. Kim, co-founder, Society for Organizational Learning)

Finally we have the blueprint to fundamentally recreate our nation’s public education system. Charles Reigeluth and Jennifer Karnopp have put together in this book the essential elements and a clear process to bring about the needed change in our public education delivery system. Reinventing Schools will be the most talked about book for those who are serious about creating a new educational system. Well written and thought out and very timely. (Phillip Harris, Ed.D., executive director, Association for Educational Communications & Technology)

In Reinventing Schools, Reigeluth and Karnopp not only make a compelling and insightful case for the transformation of public education, they chart the course, providing detailed guidance and vivid examples for educational practitioners, students, parents, and policy makers. This is essential reading for all who are concerned about America's future. (Scott Thompson, assistant executive director of Panasonic Foundation and author of "Leading From the Eye of the Storm: Spirituality and Public School Improvement")

Reinventing Schools is filled with paradigm changing ideas, some of which are radical and some, just good common sense. I recommend that every Superintendent / School Board team read it and get prepared to debate the concepts you agree with and those you don't. Then test your "DNA" for change. School board leadership is required when transformation is at stake, and I know school board members agree that creating a learning culture where all students can fulfill their potential is our ultimate and immediate goal. This book is a powerful resource to help us realize that goal. (Anne L. Bryant, executive director emerita, National School Boards Association)

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