The Thesis of My New Book; Making Great Progress!

The Thesis of My New Book; Making Great Progress!

I have been less regular with my blog posts and Twitter stream over the last couple of months. I have been working hard on my new book, including about 60 in-depth phone, video, and in-person interviews and regular writing hours every day.  I am happy to report that I am about 80% through the rough draft, with just two more chapters to write before I get serious about re-writing.

The thesis of the book is simple: This thing we call “school” is going to inevitably look VERY different in 20 years, yet K-12 education is like a huge rock with massive inertia; it has been stuck in roughly the same place for decades. We can either change the system intentionally or become irrelevant; I prefer the former. Simple physics tells us that we can’t overcome the force of inertia unless we apply a greater force. I have identified what I, and many others it turns out, think are about seven “levers” which, if we press hard enough, can overcome that inertia.  And here is the critical point: each of these levers does not require permission or empowerment from the powers that created and sustain the inertia in the first place: the political left and right, government, the publishing oligarchy, and self-interested groups of fearful adults.

I have found so many examples of how these “levers” are already working that I could write a book around each of them, but that is not my goal.  My goal is to help create change at scale.  My goal is to show what is already working in schools across the spectrum of geography and demography and to issue a set of utterly audacious, but very doable, challenges to educators and their communities of stakeholders; to put the ownership of education transformation where it belongs: on “us” to Just Do It.

Hopefully my publisher likes what I am working on and I can get this to you all in the not-too-distant future!

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  1. Betsy Hartge July 8, 2016 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Thank you for the hint of what is to come in your new book. Back in the 80’s I was in Cincinnati at a World Gifted Conference. Even then, while working with grades 1-3, identifying and programing for potentially gifted students, my thinking was progressive and I have continued to take what I learned back then and try to encourage others along more progressive lines. At the Conference, they described what schools would look like in 20 years. Well the 20 years have come and gone and very little has changed. Schools continue to focus on reading (set levels and methods that must fit everyone), writing (handwriting still there), and arithmetic (not mathematics). Oh there are pockets everywhere and STEM has become a big word. Creative and critical thinking words are still thrown around liberally, but the skills are shadows of what they should be. I have a Masters in gifted/dyslexia and have taught 40 years and I will never give up on encouraging administrators, teachers, parents, and students. I look forward to your book and hope while I stay on my path, that I will do my part to help education look like it belongs in the 21st Century.

    • Grant July 9, 2016 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Betsy; great to hear from someone else who was “screaming in the wilds” about what learning could look like all those years ago!

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