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Posted January 6, 2014
Posted March 17, 2010
The book "The Fourth Way" displays a great historical background of the different ways from the past and what had led to changing them into a new way. It is smart to display a well-structured outline of previous events which led to writing the book. Also, it states the predecessors of the new way they have invented: the fourth way. Still, I'm quite sceptical about it.
First of all, Hargreaves and Shirley describe their newly found fourth way very inspiring and innovative. I must disagree. Nearly every aspect of their way has been done before in one of the other three ways, only with a slightly different approach. For instance, the "becoming aware of the importance of an active participation of parents in the education of their children" has happened before, in the second way. The "competition of different knowledge societies" has happened before as well, in the second way going on in the third way. They have just replaced the prior words by using 21st century "new-age" words. Professionalism has been going on since the second way as well and can hardly be described as an innovative idea. Furthermore, the coherence between schools: wasn't that an idea posted in the second way as well?
Secondly, Hargreaves and Shirley claim to have the solution of a way fit for the fast, flexible, and vulnerable new world of the 21st century. Again, my opinion differs. Their way does not demonstrate something fit for the 21st century. Instead, they've just looked at some aspects which are going on at this moment and tried to find a suitable solution to that, which, of course, has been done before. Next they created more new-age words to their plan and there you are: an innovative plan which everyone should be amazed about.
Finally, I disagree about naming their idea "the fourth way". I do not think it is such a new way it can be named the fourth. It is merely a revised version of the third way.
Nevertheless, I do agree with the way they've displayed their ideas. Through this book, their fourth way is presented very clearly and a lot of (sub-)goals have been described very detailed. It is a great initiative to point out different goals and create a schematic overview, such as the six different pillars, the three principles of professionalism, and the four catalysts of coherence. Policymakers should definitely read this book to get informed in a way which could really change educational policy. The change is in the way the ideas are displayed. Now the different sub-goals are so specifically posted, there should be no ambiguities whatsoever anymore.
To conclude, their method of writing certainly clarifies matters. The matters they write about are just not as expected: new.
Posted March 14, 2010
No text was provided for this review.