The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools That Work

The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools That Work

by Linda Darling-Hammond, Hammond Linda Darling
     
 

There have always been extraordinary schools that accomplish extraordinary things with all kinds of students. But these have been the exceptions to the rule. In this important book, one of the nation's most respected educators, Linda Darling-Hammond, describes learner-centered schools that work for students in all of kinds of communities and outlines the policies

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Overview

There have always been extraordinary schools that accomplish extraordinary things with all kinds of students. But these have been the exceptions to the rule. In this important book, one of the nation's most respected educators, Linda Darling-Hammond, describes learner-centered schools that work for students in all of kinds of communities and outlines the policies and practices that are needed to create these schools on a system-wide basis. Classrooms and schools centered on learning and learners are intellectually rigorous places, exciting and humane. They are concerned with honoring individuality, developing potential, and arming kids with an ability to think freely and independently. Using in-depth interviews with dozens of teachers and studies of many successful schools, Darling-Hammond shows that good schools best serve learners by allowing good teaching to flourish, reducing bureaucratic demands, favoring competence over procedures, nurturing and rewarding professional development, supporting curriculum and assessment that are relevant and challenging, and stimulating inside or out change. From guidelines for raising professional standards for teachers to strategies for funneling more resources to teachers and classrooms. The Right to Learn shows how to make learning the goal and the outcome of reform.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"While she recognizes the necessity for school reform and the complexity of implementing it, Darling-Hammond remains optimistic that systemic changes to ensure access to a meaningful education for all children are possible. Her book is positive and hopeful and serves as a fascinating account of American education and its promise of 'the right to learn' for all children."In The Right to Learn, Linda Darling-Hammond gives readers a comprehensive, thoughtful look at the condition of American schooling and sets forth proposals for its improvement."The book's audience should extend beyond the education profession to parents, to the community at large, to anyone who's interested in the current state of American education."This well-organized and meticulously documented book presents an agenda for re-creating public education." —Washington Post

"Darling-Hammond has written a solid, theoretically and empirically grounded book that bridges the worlds of practitioners and policy makers and that gives them a very compelling reason to work together as well as providing them with the main ideas and tools to get the job done. The Right to Learn has the 'right stuff' to become a major force for the reform of the teaching profession over the next decade." —American Journal of Education

"Darling-Hammond's central claim is well worth listening to. She argues that American students do so poorly by comparison with students in other industrialized countries not because we don't give them enough work, but because our teaching is less thoughtful, and because we are obsessed with bureaucratic processes rather than educational outcomes." ——New York Times Book Review

"Darling-Hammond does more than criticize the past and present practices. She provides a rich array of different approaches that emphasize teaching and learning for understanding and that highlight the importance of skillful teaching.... Thoughtful readers will find much in this book to guide their efforts toward learner-centered reform of schools." —Educational Leadership

"Darling-Hammond plants herself squarely in the middle of what is fast becoming a significant school reform debate....[Her] argument is compelling because it relies on years of observation of several...restructured schools. The book's major strength is the author's comprehensive reform goals, which address practically every impediment to structural change. Essential for education collections." —Library Journal

"Darling-Hammond presents ten thoughtful and well-grounded chapters that speak to education reform in the United States.... The Right to Learn addresses critical issues that all educators must address if reform efforts are to help students for an ever-changing, global society.... This book presents a well-supported view of the most pressuring reform issues and how these issues can work in concert for change. As such, The Right to Learn is essential reading for all educators." —Childhood Education

"This is a very fine work 'well argued, comprehensive, and authoritative. It will be treated as a Bible' or, more properly, a Constitution-by those seriously engaged in the improvement of American public education." —Howard Gardner, professor of education, Harvard University, and author of Leading Minds

"If only I could get every American who claims to be concerned about our schools to read this thorough, readable, and brilliant book. Linda Darling-Hammond knows our schools as no one else does-as scholar, hands-on researcher, practitioner, concerned citizen, and parent. She crosses all the boundaries that so often divide us. And all sides of her diverse strengths show in her work and in this extraordinary book. As a reader you'll love it; and you'll come away wiser as well." —Deborah Meier, senior fellow, Annenberg Institute of School Reform, author of The Power of Their Ideas, and principal, The Mission Hill school, Boston

Library Journal
Darling-Hammond (education, Columbia Univ.) plants herself squarely in the middle of what is fast becoming a significant school reform debate among such folks as E.D. Hirsch (The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them, LJ 10/1/96) and Philip Schlechty (Inventing Better Schools, Jossey-Bass, 1996). While Hirsch concentrates on educational objectives and Schlechty focuses on the knowledge work of students, Darling-Hammond's approach relies on restructuring the basic dynamics of schooling: teacher-student relations, professionalism, and school administration. Her argument is compelling because it relies on years of observation of several such restructured schools. The book's major strength is the author's comprehensive reform goals, which address practically every impediment to structural change. Essential for education collections.Jessica George, Illinois State Univ. Lib., Normal
Booknews
Describes the system wide changes in policy and practice needed to make America's both learner centered and learning centered. The author argues that former school reform movements emphasized getting around the system and didn't realize that leaving the system in place was what ultimately doomed their efforts. She argues for an overhaul in education that stresses teachers over bureaucracy, and competence over procedures. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780787902612
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/12/1997
Series:
The Jossey-Bass Education Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.28(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.36(d)

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