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Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track

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In the age of the Internet, we educate people much as we did during the industrial revolution, preparing them for a world that no longer exists. This book offers a new way forward, asking questions about the nature and purpose of education in the 21st century.


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In the age of the Internet, we educate people much as we did during the industrial revolution, preparing them for a world that no longer exists. This book offers a new way forward, asking questions about the nature and purpose of education in the 21st century.

30 review for Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    While I agree with a lot of the ideas presented as great education in this book, the authors are condescending and prove time and again that they don't actually have any knowledge about how schools are run. I HATED this book. I think it gave me blood pressure problems. Do I think kids need more freedom to develop at their own pace and focus on their independent interests? Yes, I really believe education could function more authentically in this way. Do I think that learning disabilities are made While I agree with a lot of the ideas presented as great education in this book, the authors are condescending and prove time and again that they don't actually have any knowledge about how schools are run. I HATED this book. I think it gave me blood pressure problems. Do I think kids need more freedom to develop at their own pace and focus on their independent interests? Yes, I really believe education could function more authentically in this way. Do I think that learning disabilities are made up by profiteering social workers? NO! Most of the ideas are presented in this sort of elitist fashion. The authors also posit that the current curriculum of schools exists because profiteering teachers don't want to be put out of jobs. Just another instance where the authors show that they know NOTHING about how schools work. Teachers have little or no say in writing standards and curricula. The model of the ideal school upheld by the authors (who are direct stakeholders in the private institution) is the Sudbury Valley School. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent school, and I think schools should try to model themselves in this direction. It's amazing! But the authors repeat the refrain that this is a school that accepts everyone as long as there is room...as long as they can pay the tuition. The authors claim it is low, and further tout vouchers (there are many problematic and elitist issues with their discussion of vouchers as well) but currently tuition is priced well above what most people can pay, and 2-3 times as high as what public schools can pay per student in educational services. There is no evidence that such a model would be sustainable across the country, except for upper-middle class families of students without special needs.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dalan

    This is a profound book. At the surface, it's a review of our education system, its failings and a picture of what an ideal education system should look like. While describing so, the authors discuss fundamental ideas about what it means to be educated and what is the role (and responsibility) of an individual in society. In doing so they paint a beautiful vision of a new educational and (indirectly social) system of individuals pursuing their own journeys freely in accordance with their own cho This is a profound book. At the surface, it's a review of our education system, its failings and a picture of what an ideal education system should look like. While describing so, the authors discuss fundamental ideas about what it means to be educated and what is the role (and responsibility) of an individual in society. In doing so they paint a beautiful vision of a new educational and (indirectly social) system of individuals pursuing their own journeys freely in accordance with their own chosen values.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Hughes

    This book really got me into the Ackoff philosophy of life. I'm going to be reading all of his books and articles that I can find. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet the man. This book also introduces many of the concepts of the Sudbury Valley school which read me to reading Neill's Summerhill. This book will make you question how we survived traditional K-12 with our souls intact, and what we can do for future generations. This book really got me into the Ackoff philosophy of life. I'm going to be reading all of his books and articles that I can find. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet the man. This book also introduces many of the concepts of the Sudbury Valley school which read me to reading Neill's Summerhill. This book will make you question how we survived traditional K-12 with our souls intact, and what we can do for future generations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Epting

    There are definitely positives and negatives about this book. I appreciate that the authors convey the challenges of our current education system in the US. A lot of this book is about empowering students to choose their own path so they are actually interested in their education. The authors lose me in the end where they explain how they would change the education system. They try to create something of an “educational utopia,” but it’s a very one-sided view that may exist in small pockets (Sud There are definitely positives and negatives about this book. I appreciate that the authors convey the challenges of our current education system in the US. A lot of this book is about empowering students to choose their own path so they are actually interested in their education. The authors lose me in the end where they explain how they would change the education system. They try to create something of an “educational utopia,” but it’s a very one-sided view that may exist in small pockets (Sudbury Schools), but I don’t think would work well in the greater scheme of the world.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jing

    Learning is teaching Very enlightening book about what education should be really about and the important message for me Is that learning happens every day, as parents, we should provide a nurturing environment at home to let the kids explore in all areas of life and discover their passion, help them to pursue with determination, and most importantly be happy in whatever they choose to do in Life!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cody Ray

    Awesome, awesome book. A completely different way of looking at education, compared to traditional classroom education. As outlined by Ackoff and Greenberg, students should be autonomous and empowered to take their education into their own hands. The authors reject the notion that "students aren't bright enough" to set their own direction and the idea that students are to be molded by teachers and parents. In response to the outcries of "what about the basics?!," the authors claim that if these s Awesome, awesome book. A completely different way of looking at education, compared to traditional classroom education. As outlined by Ackoff and Greenberg, students should be autonomous and empowered to take their education into their own hands. The authors reject the notion that "students aren't bright enough" to set their own direction and the idea that students are to be molded by teachers and parents. In response to the outcries of "what about the basics?!," the authors claim that if these skills are truly basic, then in this community-connected school the students will recognize their need and learn them independently. This is hinting at the question commonly raised of the education system, "how can we prepare our students for a future we can't predict?" They suggest a negative reply, "we can't, we can just do the best to help students actualize their own potential and goals, making them life-long learners who can adapt to changes, protect their rights, and fully participate as global citizens." The idea of raising children to participate in a democratic nation while educating them in a dictatorial environment was also a central theme to the ideal school. The school is run with a weekly School Meeting, in which everyone has a single vote, staff and student of all ages, and during which all governance, judiciary, financial, and even staffing decisions are made. (participatory democracy) There is a large implicit notion of trust in the ideal schools presented in this book (notably, the Sudbury Valley model, cofounded by Greenberg in 1968) which seems to be the largest obstacle to seeing such a system nationalized. In such a school, there is a faith and trust in students, their capabilities and their contributions, that many adults do not have.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bill Seitz

    If you haven't read much UnSchool/Sudbury, JohnHolt or JohnTaylorGatto, this could be a good intro to this school of thought. http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/Turn... If you haven't read much UnSchool/Sudbury, JohnHolt or JohnTaylorGatto, this could be a good intro to this school of thought. http://webseitz.fluxent.com/wiki/Turn...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Leani

    A good place to start for an overview of the philosophy underlying the Sudbury model of education.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul Brooks

    Any big thinkers that are interested in new paradigms in education will love this book. Whole systems theory for educators. super, super, super

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    coming out summer 08. watch for reviews; could be good

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julie Clark

    Fascinating read on education.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    The anti-Hirsch, this is a provocative manifesto for dismantling the entire education infrastructure and rebuilding it from scratch.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott Gray

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Juan Olaya

  16. 5 out of 5

    M Wright

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mandi

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan Barber

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Boersma

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Kuipers

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Chater

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Conner

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Loaiza

  25. 5 out of 5

    Todd Hoskins

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brooks Tanner

  27. 5 out of 5

    Itamar Goldminz

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Beltran

  29. 4 out of 5

    TING

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michael Shelmet

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