Book: School Transformation. Wayne Jennings (2018)

Book: School Transformation. Wayne Jennings (2018)
Can we recommend the latest book from our good friend Wayne B Jennings
After 60 years in all kinds of K-12 schooling (traditional, innovative, charter and private schools) as a teacher and principal (and other roles) Wayne reflects and is highly critical of traditional education.
“During my career, I observed principals who had grown up in conventional schools, served as teachers in conventional schools, become assistant principals in conventional schools, and became principals of conventional schools. Most had not experienced anything else. If by chance they stumbled across a nonconventional school, the encounter was brief, and the school was considered unrealistic because, in their words: ‘school is school, not some harebrained scheme. After all, Kids have to learn, not just fool around.’ The concept of school impedes people’s thinking because of well-established mind-sets based on experience. Mental models emerge from experience. Vocabulary matters. Words create pictures or perceptions in the mind. Consider the word classroom. It conveys a mental model of a room with rows of desks facing forward.” From School Transformation
“In what other ways do we harm children? Parents play a role, for better or worse, in pushing their children, from an ever-earlier age, to excel at school grades, violin lessons, dance lessons, camps, sports, and volunteering. This thwarts the child’s own interests, and one wonders what kind of skewed adult emerges from a hothouse childhood and pressured upbringing. No one would argue against parental guidance or against providing opportunities for enrichment, but the hovering or “helicopter” parent unwittingly harms the child by reducing time for creative problem-solving and self-expression, the outcomes of free play. Even in a summer-camp setting that forbids phones, parents sneak them in for daily communication and to help extricate their children from problem situations.” From School Transformation
“We should not have the degree of student boredom and disengagement exposed by surveys. We should have more open, thinking adults. We should give students far more opportunities to pursue their passions. There should be less cynicism, especially among high-school teachers. Fewer students should be hurt by schooling. Many kids who are having trouble in school might as well have their foreheads permanently stamped SLOW.” From School Transformation.

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