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"Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones is my new favorite book about how to live as a teacher. Finishing it, I experienced what I can only describe as a state of grace-moved, renewed, and grateful that a mind like Tom Newkirk's has been intrigued by classroom matters for almost forty years now."
Author of In the Middle, Second Edition
"Classic Newkirk: direct, incisive, and brimming with wisdom."
-Harvey "Smokey" Daniels
Coauthor of Comprehension & Collaboration
This book is one of the best teacher books ever. I'll be giving copies of it to lots of teacher friends as we find our way back to trusting what we know about kids, about learning, and about teaching writing.
Author of Reviving the Essay
Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones is for every teacher who has struggled under top-down mandates, who ever had to slavishly follow the script of a reading lesson, who ever felt that tests were driving instruction. It is for those whose good, humane, and sensitive ways of teaching literacy are threatened by rigid, mechanical programs. It is for teachers who feel they are losing control of their daily work.
Hear a podcast, where Tom Newkirk and Nancie Atwell discuss teaching principles worth fighthing for.
In Holding On to Good Ideas in a Time of Bad Ones, Tom Newkirk eloquently defends teaching against the "cult of efficiency" that turns classrooms into assembly lines of knowledge. Newkirk goes beyond diagnosing the problem to present six ideas worth fighting for. These transformative practices gently but firmly return instructional decisions to where they belong: with you, our teachers. Newkirk shows how to: