If you’re looking for some interesting and engaging reading over the summer, I have a few recommendations for you. The first three will be featured as part of our Head of School Book Club (dates to be determined). The selected titles are particularly of interest to me as we will be looking into the ways in which our curriculum and pedagogy encourages creativity, imaginative thinking, and innovative approaches to learning. The first title is by Dr. Yong Zhao, our featured speaker at next year’s Gateway School speaker series.
World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, by Yong Zhao
Review of forthcoming book
“In this important book, Yong Zhao demonstrates persuasively that the race for higher test scores is harmful to our society. It contradicts the need to develop our young people’s creativity and entrepreneurship. If we ignore Yong Zhao’s warning, we risk hurtling back to an industrial model of standardization and conformity. What is needed most now, he reminds us, is freedom to think, freedom to invent, and freedom to differ from bureaucratically devised norms.” (Diane Ravitch)
Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success by Madeline Levine, PhD (release date July 24, 2012)
Psychologist Madeline Levine brings together cutting-edge research and thirty years of clinical experience to explode once and for all the myth that good grades, high-test scores, and college acceptances should define the parenting endgame.
Teach Your Children Well acknowledges that every parent wants successful children. However, until we are clearer about our core values and the parenting choices that are most likely to lead to authentic, and not superficial, success, we will continue to raise exhausted, externally driven, impaired children who believe they are only as good as their last performance. Real success is always an inside job, argues Levine, and is measured not by today’s report card but by the people our children become fifteen or twenty years down the line. (Madeline Levine)
Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2011 Edition) by Ken Robinson
In Out of Our Minds, Ken Robinson offers a groundbreaking approach to understanding creativity in education and in business. He argues that people and organizations everywhere are dealing with problems that originate in schools and universities and that many people leave education with no idea at all of their real creative abilities. Out of Our Minds is a passionate and powerful call for radically different approaches to leadership, teaching and professional development to help us all to meet the extraordinary challenges of living and working in the 21st century.
Robinson’s book asks three critical questions:
- Why is it essential to promote creativity? Business leaders, politicians and educators emphasize the vital importance of promoting creativity and innovation. Why does this matter so much?
- What is the problem? Why do so many people think they’re not creative? Young children are buzzing with ideas. What happens as we grow up and go through school to make us think we are not creative?
- What can be done about it? What is creativity? What can companies, schools and organizations do to develop creativity and innovation in a deliberate and systematic way?
- Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner
- Parenting a Teen Girl: A Crash Course on Conflict, Communication and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter by Lucie Hemmen, PhD. We have invited Dr. Hemmen (a former GWS parent and local psychologist) to Gateway School to facilitate a discussion with our parents.
- Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization by Yong Zhao
- Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America by Allan Collins & Richard Halverson
- The New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for A World of Constant Change by Douglas Thomas & John Seely Brown
- The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (non-fiction)
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
I hope that you enjoy these titles and join us next year as we discuss them with other parents and faculty.