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Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era

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From two leading experts in education and entrepreneurship, an urgent call for the radical re-imagining of American education so that we better equip students for the realities of the twenty-first century economy.

Today more than ever, we prize academic achievement, pressuring our children to get into the “right” colleges, have the highest GPAs, and pursue advanced degrees. But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy. Our school system was engineered a century ago to produce a work force for a world that no longer exists. Alarmingly, our methods of schooling crush the creativity and initiative young people need to thrive in the twenty-first century.

In Most Likely to Succeed, bestselling author and education expert Tony Wagner and venture capitalist Ted Dintersmith call for a complete overhaul of the function and focus of American schools, sharing insights and stories from the front lines, including profiles of successful students, teachers, parents, and business leaders.

Most Likely to Succeed presents a new vision of American education, one that puts wonder, creativity, and initiative at the very heart of the learning process and prepares students for today’s economy. This book offers parents and educators a crucial guide to getting the best for their children and a roadmap for policymakers and opinion leaders.

305 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 18, 2015

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About the author

Tony Wagner

9 books86 followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Tony Wagner recently accepted a position as the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Prior to this, he was the founder and co-director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for more than a decade.

Tony consults widely to schools, districts, and foundations around the country and internationally. His previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility.

Tony is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and five books. Tony’s latest, Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World, will be published in April by Simon & Schuster. His recent book, The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need—and What We Can do About It has been a best seller and is being translated into Chinese. Tony’s other titles include: Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools, Making the Grade: Reinventing America’s Schools, and How Schools Change: Lessons from Three Communities Revisited. He has also recently collaborated with noted filmmaker Robert Compton to create a 60 minute documentary, “The Finnish Phenomenon: Inside The World’s Most Surprising School System.”

Tony earned an M.A.T. and an Ed.D. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 178 reviews
Profile Image for Michael.
1,545 reviews5 followers
January 15, 2016
Man, I don't even know where to start with this one.

I went to graduate school almost 17 years ago, initially, where I earned my M.Ed in Secondary Education. This was a vocational degree: I studied the craft of teaching, and practiced in a classroom for a year before becoming a full time teacher, a job which I have held ever since. Four years into my career, I entered into a doctoral program and began to study--among other things--the philosophy of education. I had some excellent professors, and I learned a great deal about schooling in America. I can't honestly say I am an expert on schools and education, but I think I am reasonably well informed about issues related to education.

This book is the newest, and most cutting edge, thinking about education, and it makes me feel like a complete dinosaur. The authors--quite convincingly--lay out the case that how we are educating young people today is completely wrong. Instead of fostering a generation of creative problem solvers who can communicate effectively, collaborate productively, and communicate both clearly and compellingly (as well as think critically), we are running our kids through a credentialing wringer then wondering why they are turning out so dumb.

Basically, these authors are arguing that knowing things is not as important as demonstrating that you can do something with what you know. Knowledge, they argue, is ubiquitous now. I can just look things up if I don't know them. What I do with knowledge; how I synthesize it and apply it and creatively reconstruct it into new forms...that's what we need to be teaching. Kids will be intrinsically motivated to learn if their learning is connected to things they are passionate about, and that have real world applications.

If this sounds like common sense to you, I ask you to reflect on your own schooling experiences. Did you have a 'Genius Hour' like Google does, where it lets its employees spend 20% of their time pursuing their interests? Did you create a digital portfolio highlighting that things you created, then use that portfolio as a way to impress an employer, or to seek entrance into a college? No?

Did you take a standardize test, like MCAS or PARRC? Did you take an AP classes? The SATs? Did you major in something? According to the authors of this book, you wasted your time.

I am not going to recreate their arguments here. Suffice it to say that I am startled by how different this all is from what I was trained to do, and how I was taught myself. If the goal is to no longer develop 'knowledge workers' because knowledge is so readily available, why are we spending 13 years of elementary and secondary schooling teaching kids facts, figures, formulas, and foreign languages? Should we teach them basic skills and content, then turn them lose to solve real-world problems? To work collaboratively with others to create actual things of value?

This book has given me a tremendous amount to think about. I have more questions than answers. I also, literally, cannot imagine how any of this would apply to the difficult public school where I work. None the less, much to ponder.
Profile Image for Kelly.
3,099 reviews31 followers
December 3, 2015
Wagner had me at hello with his book Creating Innovators. When I attended his keynote presentation at a conference, I counted myself fortunate indeed. This book continues with the same ideas, but he also touches upon new topics.

While reading this book, I shouted many AMENS and fist pumped and smiled and moaned and said things to myself such as "that's exactly what I've been saying for years!" For example, I railed against Accelerated Reader years ago when it was first introduced; I spoke with my children's elementary school teachers about the ills of this program. I didn't get far, but I voiced my concerns for sure, and I refused to use it my high school classroom. Thank you, Mr. Wagner, for validating my opinion.

Recently my school district embraced Expeditionary Learning as the next great thing for our students. The concept of EL is good, but why do we need this if we are teaching as we should? I'm tired of companies creating programs for schools that we don't need but which we blindly purchase because we are in the bandaid mode of fixing what is wrong with education.

Let's do something radical. Let's really make our schools better. Let's really use authentic audiences. Let's really teach our students to have grit and perseverance and let's really make our courses rigorous. Let's teach students for real that failure is a good thing. I don't want to hear the excuse that we have to teach to the test. That's an excuse; it really is. We can teach students to THINK and to SOLVE and to CREATE and to ANALYZE and to COLLABORATE and to make CONNECTIONS. It's going to be exhausting for teachers, and we will have to clearly explain to parents, students, the school board, and our communities what we are doing and that it will look messy at first and we will fail at first because failure leads to success.

It's time for us to stop following the curriculum that was created by 10 college professors over 100 years ago. This book provides enough practical examples and ideas for us to use, and the authors' ideas are all backed by evidence and facts. The authors dissect each content/subject area and provide specific lessons for how to improve student assignments so that student learning is more meaningful. Let's do more than give lip service to the words rigor, grit, creativity, and critical thinking.

We all lament when we return an assignment to a student and all s/he does is look at the grade and not the many comments we made. And worse, the assignment gets thrown away because the student will not be using it again. Let's change our school culture so students look forward to how they can improve upon their learning and take onus for their individual learning.

Read this book and be amazed at how colleges receive high rankings. I guarantee you won't look at higher ed rankings the same way ever again, and you will think more deeply about college degrees and their purpose. Read this book and you will learn how academic credentials create a hierarchy not unlike a caste system in our country. (I listen to teachers at my school compare what colleges they attended and how someone is a better teacher than another simply because of the name of their alma mater.)

Read this book to learn what the true purpose of education is and how our worship of competition, instead of collaboration, is undermining our children's future. I've had too many students tell me they have to cheat in order to score better so they can get into a better college, etc. They view cheating as a means to an end and don't view it as necessarily being dishonest.

Read this book to see the true purpose of assessment and how we can make it meaningful and helpful. And read this book to learn how we can collaborate to create true change. The authors provide examples from schools that are preparing our students for the future.

This book is a compelling read. It's also scary because change is scary. But you can't read this book without feeling empowered and excited (and to be honest - overwhelmed and nervous, too).

I haven't watched the documentary of this book yet, but I plan to soon.

Okay, so I had a love fest with this book. I went back and reread the book (yep, i really did), paying close attention to what i could use right now with my own school. I wish every employee in my district would read this book; I wish every parent and every student would read this book. I wish we had the courage and stamina to truly revolutionize our school. I'm not giving up hope. I know that a few people truly can change the world. So.... who's with me? Who's ready to create some innovators?

Profile Image for Robin.
1,505 reviews41 followers
September 5, 2016
Not a review - just notes.

Smoothly and compellingly written, though I do not agree with everything asserted by Wagner and Dintersmith. I absolutely love the dedication to America's teachers.

"We will see, however, that most lecture-based courses contribute nothing to real learning. Consequential and retained learning comes, to a very large extent, from applying knowledge to new situations or problems, research on questions and issues that students consider important, peer interaction, activities, and projects. Experiences, rather than short-term memorization, help students develop the skills and motivation that transforms lives." [p. 7-8]

What is the purpose of education?

". . . adults need to be able to ask great questions, critically analyze information, form independent opinions, collaborate, and communicate effectively." [p.20]

We were talking about this stuff more than 10 years ago when I still worked in public education. Testing all the time punishes teachers and tortures kids, cuts back on the amount of time that could be spent actually learning something.

I was a champion standardized test taker. I was a genius at filling in those little bubbles, topping out at 12.9 in early elementary school. Doesn't mean I understood anything going on around me.

"not what you know but what you can do with what you know." [p.27]

I agree that communities should have flexibility in developing local goals and culture and teachers should absolutely be able to use their creativity and judgement in deciding how to teach and how much time to spend on each skill and topic. They need be able to be responsive to the needs, talents, and interests of the students in their classes. But there should be some general agreement across communities as to what we're teaching and why. There needs to be overlap so we can be a cohesive nation with a common base and vocabulary from which to proceed into the future. As we can see from current politics and news viewing, when we start from from different 'realities' with different 'facts' it is almost impossible to have a sane conversation and work together.

"We believe that the starting point for taking on the fundamental question of "What is the purpose of education?" is that education needs to help our youth discover their passions and purpose in life, develop the critical skills needed to be successful in pursuing their goals, be inspired on a daily basis to do their very best, and be active and informed citizens. Without this foundation, schools will continue to fall short." [p.44]

"It's a rare five-year old that doesn't demonstrate real joy for things in his or her life. Our preschool kids . . . are full of passion, curiosity, and exploration. But it's a rare high school senior who demonstrates any joy for something related to his or he education." [p.46]

"News sources today are driven not by civic responsibility to report the news accurately, but the need to build an audience . . . Every citizen selects and controls the news he or she receives, and we all gravitate toward comfortable predictable sources that reflect our own beliefs."[p.67]

Things to look for:
How slide rules won a war" by Alex Green
The Finland Phenomenon
George Land's NASA Creativity Test
Wolfram's TED talk: "Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers"
We're losing our minds: Rethinking American Higher Education - Hersh
College Work Readiness Assessment
NH competency based approach to high school diploma
NY Performance Standards Consortium merit badge approach

"While advanced math may be needed for admission to college, it is not the math required for students to succeed in college." [p.93]

Math resources for complex operations that you can download to your phone:
Wolfram Alpha

"Learning how to compute integrals by hand is of no use without learning how or when to apply them." [p.96]

"If college admissions officers are going to encourage kids to take the same AP math class, why not statistics? Almost every career (whether in business, nonprofits, academics, law, or medicine benefits from proficiency in statistics. Being an informed, responsible citizen requires a sound knowledge of statistics, as politicians, reporters, and bloggers all rely on "data" to justify positions." [p.98]

"Today, when kids have ready access to an enormous range of written material, we should encourage them to be great readers by devouring everything they can that's aligned with their passion - whether it's nature, sports, or Harry Potter." [p.117]

" . . . our issue with education isn't the quantity of time students devote to their development; it's how they are impelled to spend boatloads of time on school-related activities that lead to no real learning." [p.154]

Many graduate college with no basic skills such as being able to write well enough to satisfy their employers. [p.157]

"What does it mean to be an educated adult in the twenty-first century? What are the core competencies that matter most for work, learning, and citizenship today? And how are these skills different from what students needed a century ago?" [p.223]

What matter is what you can do with what you know. Grit, perseverance, self discipline, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving.

Profile Image for Jason.
Author 20 books65 followers
June 21, 2018
It's a strange sensation, a sort of cognitive dissonance almost, to read a book and agree wholeheartedly with the author's basic claim--that the way to improve education is to focus less on (temporary) rote memorization of discipline-specific content and more on transferable skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creative problem-solving--and yet be so viscerally irritated by so many of the individual points. Maybe it's the tone, which is kind of smug and superior. At one point, the authors write, "If we ran our economy the way we run our education system, our GDP would be lower than Haiti's." In the margin, I wrote, "If we ran our schools the way we run our economy, we probably would have screwed up the entire global education system a few years ago." Maybe it's that one the authors is one of those billionaire philanthropists from the tech world, a category of dilettantes who've been meddling in schools with no positive effect for decades. Also...yeah, we know; these are good ideas, but you're not the first to propose them. Now, try going up against government bureaucrats who are willing to let all the schools burn with the little kiddies inside so long as they can break the teacher unions.

Still, they're largely right. They're right about how the focus needs to be on learning rather than results on artificial standardized assessments. They're right that we need to trust teachers and get rid of draconian accountability measurements. They're right in their heroic takedown of high school math curricula when they write, "Drilling on factoring polynomial equations gets you good at one thing, factoring polynomial equations." (I mean honestly, at the school level, it seems like the totality of the math department's contribution to discussions about educational innovation is proclaiming, "That won't work in math. Math is different.") They're right about schools' subservience to the testing and textbook industries. They're right about the lack of validity of rankings for elite colleges (more on that in the next paragraph). Hell, they're even right about their snarky Bicycle School metaphor, which they impressively commit to for a good five or six pages. I like their ultimate version of what schools could look like, even what teacher training could look like. It's bold. It's smart. They just need to bring in the best minds from the field of education rather than just business management, finance or technology to make it happen.

There's other stuff in the delivery that bugs me too. While they rightfully criticize the world's obsession with college rankings and elite schools, they later imply that the solution to ineffective teacher training might be to kill off all the education programs that aren't at elite schools like Finland or whatever did. I guess we just want teachers who were born rich then? OK. Climbing out of that logical hole, I also don't love how they other portray other parts of the world. I mean Scandinavia, of course, is great, but Asia? At one point, they write, "We compete against nations that take test prep for kids so seriously that teen suicides are rampant." A: That's racist. B: Post hoc ergo propter hoc. And later, "Let Singapore, Shanghai and South Korea drill the hell out of their kids and deal with off-the-chart dysfunction and the workforce of robotic clones that ensues." Look, I'm equally bored with sweeping generalizations about the superiority of Asians... this is still racist. All in all, despite a tremendous attitude problem, the book is on the right side of education reform in the United States. I just wish Wagner and Dintersmith came off more as heroes than antiheroes in their quest for reform.
Profile Image for Shanna.
130 reviews8 followers
February 15, 2016
There were many aspects of this book that really hit home with me. The chapter detailing the math skills students will need in real life contrasted with what they are expected to learn in school was especially interesting. However, the book spent too much time puffing itself up about the greatness of American innovation and how education needed to change for the sake of job security and national pride. The authors spoke about intrinsic motivation but in the same breath spoke of alternative mandatory courses students should take in high school. At one point I said aloud, "If I read the word "grit" one more time, I am prepared to close this book and be done with it." Overall, a decent read for someone just getting started in exploring education alternatives but there are better books out there in my opinion.
Profile Image for Oleksandr Golovatyi.
418 reviews36 followers
February 24, 2019
Найкраща книга про проблеми освіти. Книга буде цікавою для кожного, хто займається самоосвітою та цікавиться проблемою навчання. Ця книга б'є будь-які рекорди по кількості цитат в 2019, які я виділяв маркером під час читання. Ось найголовніші з них:

- Школа повинна скерувати учнів на шляху до їхніх мрій і допомогти їм визначити свої покликання, прищепити необхідні професійні навички й навчити бути громадянами, а також надихати їх щодня працювати задля вдосконалення світу.

- Модель навчання 21 століття: 1) визначити захоплення і покликання 2) розвинути важливі навички 3) надихнути

- Критичне мислення - докази, ... ; точка зору, ... ; причиново-наслідкові зв'язки, ... ; припущення, ... ; доречність ...

- Математичні навички необхідні в 21 столітті для успіху в житті: 1) глибоко розуміти задачу 2) структурувати задачі та репрезентувати їх за допомогою символів 3) творчо підходити до розв'язання задач 4) виявляти закономірності 5) проводити обчислення за допомогою доступних ресурсів 6) критично оцінювати результати 7) проводити розрахунки, статистичний аналіз, приймати рішення 8) не боятися поразок і повторювати спроби 9) синтезувати результати 10) презентувати складну числову інформацію і обговорювати її 11) співпрацювати з іншими 12) ставити запитання щодо складної числової інформації

- Школи віддають перевагу підготовки до тестів, а не набуттю учнями навичок, потрібних у реальному житті

- Мовні навички необхідні в 21 столітті для успіху в житті: 1) мати значний словниковий запас 2) читати й критично аналізувати різні матеріали 3) спілкуватися за допомогою різноманітних медіа з використанням різних стилів мовлення 4) формувати та захищати власну точку зору 5) ставити продумані запитання 6) вести конструктивну дискусію

- Навички з історії необхідні в 21 столітті для успіху в житті: 1) критично аналізувати історичні події і джерела інформації 2) формувати незалежну думку про динаміку та причини історичних подій 3) чітко викладати важливі думки в тезах 4) ставити запитання й вести конструктивну дискусію 5) порівнювати історичні події з проблемами сьогодення, що формують світ, у якому ми живемо.

- Навички з природничих наук необхідні в 21 столітті для успіху в житті: 1) розуміти, як влаштовано світ 2) уміти формулювати й перевіряти наукові гіпотези 3) уміти ставити продумані запитання та проводити експерименти 4) уміти створювати щось нове на основі наукових принципів 5) уміти застосовувати наукові принципи на межі різних наук 6) творчо підходити до наукової роботи

- Найголовніше, чого ми маємо навчити школярів, - це наукового мислення
- Навички з іноземних мов необхідні в 21 столітті для успіху в житті: 1) вільно володіти розмовною мовою 2) розуміти інші культури й спілкуватися з їхніми представниками 3) співпрацювати з представниками інших культур 4) володіти іноземними мовами, використовуючи технологічні ресурси

- 1) Навчитися вчитися 2) Успішно спілкуватися 3) Ефективно й продуктивно співпрацювати 4) Творчо вирішувати проблеми 5) Зазнавати поразок 6) Приносити зміни в організації та суспільство 7) Ухвалювати розважливі рішення 8) Керувати проектами й досягати цілей 9) Бути рішучими й наполегливими 10) Спрямовувати свої талатни й захоплення на те, щоб зробити світ кращим.

- У світі, в якому ми живемо, прогрес торкнувся абсолютно більшості сфер нашого буття. Майже все стало або дешевшим, або кращим, або дешевшим і кращим. Лише не вища освіта.

- Лише третина випускників вищих навчальних закладів змогли прочитати складну книжку і зрозуміти, про що вони читали.

- Освіта перетворилася на великий бізнес, у якому не має місця навчанню важливих, істотних речей.

- Підлітки не навчаються під час слухання. Щоби справді чогось навчитися, учень повинен постійно думати, висловлювати свою точку зору, ставити запитання й відповідати на них.

- потрібно розвивати навички чотирьох "К": критичного мислення, комунікації, командної праці та креативності у розв'язанні проблем.

- нашою метою є заохотити дітей навчатися все життя, а не ставити заучування інформації вище за розвиток потрібних навичок.

- ефективний урок - той, на якому учень завжди може дати відповідь на два запитання: "Що ви робите?" і "Навіщо ви це робите?".

Книга - суперключ для розвитку мозку. Тренуй Свій Мозок разом з Readlax

Readlax - ігри для мозку та читання
Profile Image for Jill Cherry.
1 review1 follower
March 21, 2017
This book is a MUST READ for literally every single person in this country ages 14 and up.

We need to shift gears regarding our educational system. I have often wondered why so many children do so well in elementary school and then when entering middle school struggle so much and seem to lose interest. This book will help answer these questions and so many more.

Its time we step up to the plate and actually teach our children how to succeed in society and not just how to cram to take tests. We need meaningful curriculum teaching skills that will create a population of critical thinkers and innovators.
Profile Image for Kathy Iwanicki.
424 reviews4 followers
July 7, 2017
I listened to this. Toward the end, I started to fast forward, as it was a lot of the same. Also, this was more geared toward high school and I teach elementary.
Profile Image for Jonna Higgins-Freese.
708 reviews47 followers
May 12, 2016
This was interesting, although I disagree with one of the central premises: "But while students may graduate with credentials, by and large they lack the competencies needed to be thoughtful, engaged citizens and to get good jobs in our rapidly evolving economy." This sounds to me like the myth debunked in Why Good People Can't Get Jobs [see full review elsewhere]:

"To recap, then, the hardest-to-fill jobs appear to be those that often require the least skills, employers are frequently unwilling to offer the wages necessary to attract the skill set they seek, knowledge is evanescent and experience frequently as hard to attain as King Arthur's magic sword, and would-be employees are wary of uprooting themselves and their families for increasingly short-term job security" (39).

Re: the myth of US school underperformance: "OECD show[s] US students about in the middle of industrial economies. It is true that we used to be higher up, but our relative fall is largely representative of other countries catching up, especially those in Asia, where, until recent decades, economies and levels of public spending were modest. Meanwhile, there is no evidence of any absolute decline in US scores or even of a sharp decline relative to other countries" (47).

But -- aside from that faulty premise, the point that it might be better for American education to be different, promote deeper learning and more critical thinking, etc. is an interesting one.

Math courses could ask students to engage with real problems that require real mathematical thinking -- developing and defending estimates of world population in 2100 for example. In history, students could use primary documents to answer questions such as "Why did the Gulf of Tonkin resolution achieve such strong support, and should that have informed decisions in 2002" (126). (Stanford's Reading Like a Historian). Or students might start the year with a big question, like "What does it mean to be an American"? (138)

In terms of foreign language learning, technology offers "polylinguality"/instant translation, and Guido Sarducci's Five Minute University teaches what students remember five years after college graduation ("Como esta usted?" Muy bien"). The best way to learn language, if one wants to, is to use the Rassias Center for World Languages and Cultures method of speaking to learn.

They cite Academically Adrift: "[Arum and Roksa] observed no statistically significant gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing skills for at least 45 percent of the students in their first two years of college, and for 36 percent of students across all four years of college. Overall gains across all students were a scant 7 percent in the first two years and only slightly higher for those completing their graduation requirements. 'In terms of general analytical competencies assessed, large numbers of U.S. college students can be accurately described as academically adrift. They might graduate, but they are failing to develop the higher-order cognitive skills that it is widely assumed college students should master" (157). (Along with many other horrifying figures -- nor do they mention the substantial critiques of Arum & Roksa's work). They suggest alternate means of measuring college performance (165).


The recommend the usual suspects: innovation, project-based learning, more qualified teachers, different goals -- yet without ever addressing the political contexts within which education operates, the agendas of those who fund (and defund it) and the possibility that schools are, indeed, working extraordinarly well to do precisely what they are intended to do in the United States: preserve the illusion that those who don't have don't deserve.
Profile Image for Sandy.
653 reviews3 followers
September 19, 2015
The book is really alarming and seems to be all too true. Our education system is about 75% worthless according to the premise and I certainly can't dispute it. What a waste of all the hard work being done much like gerbils running on a treadmill rather than students actually learning.

I do have trouble seeing how things can really change for the better due to the entrenched positions of educators and lobbying by advocates of testing, SATs, college admissions and long held beliefs even when they seem to be wrong. It is as discouraging as politics where it is also hard to see how real constructive change can occur.

But I love the concept of kids learning modern skills of critical thinking, communication, asking questions and collaborative problem solving. Just hope we can somehow get there!

Good job Ted!
Profile Image for Ruth.
822 reviews15 followers
February 23, 2016
If you're someone who cares deeply about education and kids, prepare to feel utterly depressed and helpless by reading this book. Yes, the last chapter holds more promise, and the authors DO hold up several models of schools that work--but, overall, I find the book to be pretty black and white (e.g., ALL educational models are failing and there's only ONE fix, etc.)

Well, maybe it's not as dire as I paint it. The authors do have plenty to say, and I'm afraid some of it is true. As I say, it's depressing if you care about education and kids. For those of us who work in the educational field, it's almost too much. But the innovative ideas near the end do help to--mostly--redeem what is otherwise a literary black hole.
Profile Image for Mint.
100 reviews23 followers
August 25, 2019
เคยคิดว่าปัญหาเกี่ยวกับการศึกษาทั้งหลาย เช่น
-การเรียนในชั้นเรียน ท่องไปเพื่อสอบแล้วเดี๋ยวก้อลืม
-การฟังแต่ lecture โดยที่เด็กได้รับข้อมูลฝ่ายเดียว ไม่ได้พัฒนาความคิดเชิงสร้างสรรค์
-การจ้างงานโดยให้ความสำคัญกับเกรดและสถาบันที่จบเป็นหลัก ฯลฯ
เป็นสิ่งที่เกิดขึ้นในแต่เมืองไทย/เอเชีย หรือประเทศกำลังพัฒนาทั้งหลาย ไม่คิดว่านักการศึกษาในประเทศพัฒนาแล้วอย่างอเมริกาก็กำลังเป็นห่วงประเด็นพวกนี้ในประเทศตัวเอง เราเองก็เติบโตมากับการศึกษาแบบโบราณ ที่สนับสนุนการคิดเชิงวิเคราะห์หรือ critical skill น้อยมาก การค้นพบ passion แทบไม่มี แต่การเรียนแบบนี้มันใช้ไม่ได้แล้วกับโลกปัจจุบันและอนาคตอันใกล้ เพราะงานแบบ low-level task หรืองานที่ไม่ได้ใช้ความคิดมากนักจะโดน AI มาแทนที่ยิ่งกว่านี้
น่าคิดว่าถ้าไม่มีการเปลี่ยนแปลงด้านการศึกษาแบบจริงจัง ชีวิตเด็กน้อยในหน้าคงยิ่งลำบากน่าดู
Profile Image for Halyna Shlapai.
16 reviews
March 21, 2018
Якому вчителю ви би хотіли подякувати?

Навчання в процесі роботи

Що є головною метою освіти?

* сформувати у школярів когнітивні й соціальні навички
* виховати з учнів відповідальних та активних громадян
* сформувати характер
* прищепити учням прагнення до пізнання через знайомство з видатними творами людства
* виростити успішних спеціалістів

Кожна школа - це окреми маленький соціум зі своєю унікальною ситуацією

Школа повинни скерувати учнів до їхніх мрій і допомогти їм визначити свої покликання, прищепити необхідні професійні навички й навчити бути громадянами, а також надихати їх щодня працювати задля вдосконалення світу


* критичне мислення й розв’язання проблем
* ефективна робота в команді й уміння бути взірцем для інших
* гнучкість і здатність адаптуватись
* ініціативність і підприємницька жилка
* ефективне усне, письмове й мультимедійне спілування
* пошук і аналіз інформації
* цікавість і уява
Звіт Шляхи до процвітання

Математика 21ст
Глибоко розуміти задачу
Структурувати задачі та репрезентувати їх за допомогою символів
творчо підходити до розв’язування задач
виявляти закономірності, щоб правильно обрати розвиток задачі
критично оцінювати результати
проводити обчислення за допомогою сучасних ресерсів (нп додатики)
не боятися поразок і повторювати спроби
синтезувати результати
презентувати складну числову інфо і обговорювати її
співпрацювати з іншими
ставити запитання щодо складної числової інформації

мати значний словниковий запас
читати й критично аналізувати різні матеріали
спілкуватись за допомогою різних медіа з використанням різних стилів комунікацій
формувати та захищати власну точку зору
ставити продумані запитання
вести конструктивну дискусію

критично аналізувати історичні події і джерела інформації
формувати незалежну думку про динаміку та причини історичних подій
чітко викладати важливі думки у тезах
ставити запитання й вести конструктивну дискусію
порівнювати історичні події з проблемами сьогодення, що формують світ у якому ми живемо

Природничі науки
розуміти, як влаштовано світ
уміти формулювати і оформлювати наукові гіпотези
уміти ставити продумані питання та проводити експерименти
уміти створювати щось нове на основі експериментів
застосовувати на укові принципи на межі різних наук
творчо підходити до наукової роботи

Іноземні мови
вільно володіти розмовною мовою
розуміти інші культури та спілкуватись з різними представниками різних культур
співпраця з представниками інших культур
володіти іноземними мовами, використовуючі технологічні ресурси

Альтернатива лекційного методу

Міждисциплінарний підхід
Capstone - відповідь на питання Хто такий українець? Які виклики будуть перед нашою країною?
які сили сформували наш народ і державу?
team presentation
перевернуті уроки (лекції дома, дз в класі)
Концепт тест
Метод Харкнесса

Навчитися вчитися
Успішно спілкуватися
Ефективно й продуктивно співпрацювати
Творчо вирішувати проблеми
Зазнавати поразок
Приносити зміни в організації та суспільство
��хвалювати важливі рішення
Керувати проектами й досягати цілей
Бути рішучими й наполегливими
Спрямовувати свої таланти й захоплення на те, щоб зробити світ кращим

Контроль та оцінювання

Скаути, наліпки за освоєння певних навичок

Система оцінювання на навичках та компетенціях

Проходження курсів, самостійне навчання, стажування, суспільно-корисна діяльність

Навчання не обмежується рамками навчального року чи навіть стінами школи

Cпільна система нашивок, яка оцінює 4к: критичне мислення, комунікація, командна робота, креативність

Ньюйокрсікій консорціум оцінювання:

* написати аналітичне есе з літератури
* провести соціологічне дослідження
* провести оригінальний науковий експеримент
* підготувати проект, у якому на практиці використовується вища математика
! навички підприємництва


Власний шлях
Практичні поглибленні курси

Старша школа вищих технологій
Ініціатива Більш глибоке навчання
Національна спілка директорів шкіл та чиновників освітян ЕдЛідер 21 (КенКей)
Старша школа імені Малкольма Ікс Шабаза у Ньюарку, Нью Джерсі
Проект майбутнього
Партнерство лідерів Грінвіиа (Стефані Роджен)



дебати, консультації зі школярами з інших країн

Африканська академія лідертсва

Вступ: розкажіть нам про свою громаду та її проблеми, як ви намагаєтесь їх вирішити

дворічна програма (6 курсів на семестр, дослідницька робота, супровід лідерів)

Мірило успішності - як учні впливають на майбутнє своїх країн

Ініціатива ЗРОБИ ЩОСЬ КРУТЕ (припиняємо навчання на 48год та даємо можливість самотужки вирішити напрямок своєї роботи)

Змінити навчальний процес - пед колектив - 3 питання:

* Яких навичок потребував від своїх робітників Генрі Форд?
* Яких навичок потребуватимуть від своїх працівників організації майбутнього?
* Яких навичок потребуватиме від своїх членів та лідерів суспільство?

To watch:
Фільм: мистецтво навчати

To read:
Посібник для освітнього лідера 21 століття: 7 кроків для округів і шкіл (Кен Кей та Валері Грінхілл)
Глобальний дефіцит досягнень (Тоні Вагнер)

mltsfilm.org (відеоматеріали)
school retool.org

The world cares not about what you know, but about what you can do with what you know
Do you have the skill and do you have the will?
Where am I encouraging the play, the passiona, and the purpose
Profile Image for enyanyo.
247 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2018
The role of education is no longer to teach content, but to help our children learn—in a world that rewards the innovative and punishes the formulaic.
Our opportunity—and our obligation to our youth—is to reimagine our schools, and give all kids an education that will help them thrive in a world that values them for what they can do, not the facts that they know.

Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner argue that the current (American) education system is failing to prepare young people for a the future. They propose a competency-based, "merit badge" system that focuses on creative problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.
Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era is not very different from the few education books I have read recently like Ted Dintersmith's What Schools Could Be and Ken Robinson's Out of Our Minds. I did like that this one provided some practical examples about what an effective classroom/course should look like.
Profile Image for Anda P.
129 reviews5 followers
January 3, 2020
There are so many things I disagreed with in this book. The nature of education is so controversial! I believe humans were created in the image of God, therefore education is instructing them based on that premise. It is not teaching a set of skills, merely a way to make them great workers or entrepreneurs. Education is teaching them the human memories of several thousand years, it is breeding affection for the truly beautiful, and forming their neural pathways to pursue truth and reject flawed arguments as chaff. I hope my kids will learn to master math and not merely type equations into their iPhones to get a right answer (as he advocates!). They will memorize great speeches because it will equip them to make good speeches themselves. Just because information can be accessed from your iPhone doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be intimately known.

I didn’t disagree with some of the skills he was advocating for. I also agree that testing is messed up in America. I just think he missed the bigger picture.
Profile Image for Sharon.
379 reviews
October 21, 2015
I thought this was well-written and organized. The authors give compelling arguments for completely revamping the way we see education and our goals for our kids. I was already convinced of much of what they propose (get rid of standardized tests, focus on depth of learning and motivation) but I felt like they gave some reasons for these changes that I hadn't thought about before and that were very convincing. Their views on college and the options currently available to those who don't go to college were depressing and eye-opening. They also give some solid ideas of how we could change our system and how to go about making it happen, although I am still left feeling fairly discouraged about our educational system and the likelihood that we are going to make the changed that I think are necessary.
Profile Image for Cindy Jacobsen.
193 reviews
January 4, 2017
This is my 4th book for the 2017 Reading Challenge-a book with career advice. Every teacher, at any stage of their career should read this and rethink the classroom. Every district should watch the documentary that goes with this and start to reinvent "school". The American school is still following the plan created in the late 1800's to get a population ready for factory work. The world has changed yet "school" still plods along. A quote from the book that sums up all of the ideas and information: "If you want to get inspired about our country's future, look to our inventors, our innovators, our social entrepreneurs, our start-ups. And if you want to get discouraged, look at how we educate our kids. How we treat our teachers. And how we stumble from one failed policy to the next."
225 reviews1 follower
February 10, 2016
I hated this book at first, too much throwing out of the baby with the bath water. That's one of my least favorite things with this type of nonfiction; authors feel like in order to create a space for their argument they have to say that everything else is THE WORST! As a person who thrived in a traditional educational setting, I disagree with the notion that it's all horrible. As I got further into the book I liked it much better. I believe in innovation and changing with the times and making sure there are good opportunities for all types of learners (I know plenty of people suffocate in the same environment when I succeeded). So lots of good ideas here. I don't agree with everything, but I found it thought-provoking.
Profile Image for Colby Williams.
21 reviews5 followers
February 7, 2016
This books goes deep and really exposes the truth and facts about what I have been ranting about for the last 10-12 years in regards to education.

The ideas and topics brought up in this book, in my opinion, are some of the MOST important things that parents, teachers, decision makers, and really anyone who cares about the future of our children should be required to read.

Very in depth while remaining interesting, this book goes deep into the topic of the problems with the current education system, the history of why we got to where we are, all while intertwining ideas on how we could improve them.

One of my favorite reads since I can remember.
Profile Image for Kayla.
1,046 reviews3 followers
February 11, 2017
If you read one non-fiction book as an adult in the United States, (which, hopefully you read many more than that) THIS should be it.

It doesn't matter if you are a teacher, a parent, or neither of those things. If you care at all about the future of the country and of the youth in it, you need to read (or listen to) this book and seriously consider what the authors have to say, and then be an agent of change--in your workplace, in your community, in your children's schools. Wherever your sphere of influence is, you can take steps to move our country's system of education in the right direction.
Profile Image for Cathleen.
Author 1 book7 followers
October 24, 2016
While much of what Wagner and Dintersmith present is (again) based on anecdotes of select (highly gifted and/or highly privileged) millennials, this book has more practical suggestions and pathways as to how one can begin to reimagine and reinvent education in America than Creating Innovators. The good news is that local, small scale innovations can have far-reaching and powerful impact.
Profile Image for Allison Perani.
25 reviews10 followers
January 2, 2016
An intriguing read on the journey education. It mentions the past and where the United States and where we are now. I really enjoyed the last section of the book and how it show examples of 21 century education.
Profile Image for Ilib4kids.
1,100 reviews3 followers
December 5, 2015
371.207 WAG
CD 371.207 WAG
My summary: Taking away messages from this book
1. Teaching: Socratic discussion, Flipping classroom, peer-driven approach
2. Test: ConceptTests by Eric Mazur
3. Foundation of learning: Content knowledge, Skill, and will p223
Will-- thrill factor learning, grit, perseverance, self-discipline
Skill -- 4 C's Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creative problem-solving.

p35 The Purpose of Education
.teaching students cognitive and social skills
.prepare students to be responsible, contributing citizens.
.build character
.help students in a process of self-discovery
.inspire students through the study of humanity’s great works
.prepare students for productive careers.

p44 1893 Model: Jump through hoops; Cover content; Sort and Weed out(Assembly-Line model)
21st-Century Model: Discover passions and purpose; Develop critical skill; Inspire.
p47 Seven Survival Skills
1. Critical thinking and problem-solving
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by example
3. Agility and adaptability
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship
5. Effective oral, written, and multimedia communication
6. Accessing and analyzing information
7. Curiosity and imagination

p73 Deborah Meier "Democracy at risk " 2009 Essay
Five habit of mind , vaguely referred to as "Critical thinking"
1. Evidence: How do we know what we know? What evidence?
2. Viewpoint: Could there be another point of view?
3. Connections/Cause and effects: Do yo see any pattern? Has this happened before? What are the possible consequences?
4. Conjecture: Could it have been otherwise?
5. Relevance/Significance: Does it matter? Who cares?

Chap 5 The formative Years: K-12
(My summary: illustrate 5 subjects in 7-12 Math, English, history, science, foreign language)

I: Math:
WolframAlpha; MATHLAB; Calca; PhotoMath

NBA Math Hoops;

Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers
Summary of talk: What is math?
1. Posing the right questions
2. Real world --> math formulation
3. Computation (80% focus in math education)
4. math formulation --> real world, verification
Math not equal calculation; math >> calculation.
calculating: the machinery of math, the chore, avoid to do, the means to end, not end itself. hand calculation just for estimate.
p90 21st-centery Model Math skills needed to succeed
Memorization of low-level procedures
Pattern recognition
Ability to perform calculation by hand
Ability to perform well under time pressure.
p101 21st-centery Model Math skills needed to succeed
Deeply understanding the problem
Structuring the problem and representing it symbolically
Creative problem-solving
Pattern recognition to understand which math "tools" are relevant
Adept use of available computational resources
Critical evaluation of first-pass results
Estimation, statistics, and decision-making
Taking chances, risking failure, and iterating to refine and perfect
Synthesizing results.
Presenting/communicating complex quantitative information
Asking questions about complex quantitative information.

II: English:
p102 20th-centry Model:
Clear penmanship
Proper spelling and grammar
Sound vocabulary
Ability to read written materials (novels, poems, and plays)
Ability to write in complete sentences.
p119 21st-century Model: Language arts skills needed to succeed.
Use sound vocabulary
Read a wide variety of written materials (novels, poems, plays, essays, news) critically
Communicate clearly across multiple media forms, with a range of styles.
Forms and justify independent bold perspectives
Ask thoughtful questions
Engage in constructive debate.

p103 The world demands that our students write, speak, and present with precision, skill, and persuasiveness.
p105 First, students need to be writing constantly; Second, students need to write for a real audience and to receive regular, structured feedback from their audience.
p119 Last century, adults needed to comprehend written information but seldom needed to verify it. Almost anything published had passed through a careful editing and fact-checking. Today, though, we need to critically analyze any information we read. That means that schools need to help kids learn how to asking probing questions, critique validity, and scrutinize credibility. Simply being able to understand content is no longer adequate.

III: History:
p123 20-century Model: history skills needed to succeed.
Coverage of important events and figures
Ability to recall important historical facts
Write short essays clearly recounting historical information
p123 An 1893 history classes..teach students what to think, not how to think.
p123 21st-century Model: History skills needed to succeed.
Critically analyze historical events and sources
From independent views on dynamics and implications
Write clear and thought-provoking theses
Ask questions and engage in constructive debate
Relate historical developments to current issues shaping the world we live in.
p124 History curriculum today remains organized by era and geography. The mindset is "No Events Left Behind"

IV: Science:
p128 The heart of science classes: How to think like a scientist and apply the scientific method.
p128 Experiential learning has the added advantage of making science an engaging activity.
p128 20th-century Model: Science skills needed to succeed.
Cover core discipline - physics, chemistry, biology
Cover key definitions, formulas, and concepts
Gain familiarity, with basic lab procedures
p128 21st-century Model: Science skills needed to succeed.
Understand how the world works
Be able to form and test scientific hypotheses
Be able to ask insightful questions and design experiments
Build things based on scientific principles
Apply principles across disciplines
Develop scientific creativity

V: Foreign Language:
p134 20th-century Model: Foreign Language skills needed to succeed.
Sound vocabulary and knowledge of verbs and tense
Ability to read and comprehend written material
Ability to write basic compositions in the language
Focus on language for science or ancient cultures
p134 21st-century Model: Foreign Language skills needed to succeed.
True proficiency in speaking
Understanding cultures and the ability to navigate them
Ability to collaborate across cultures
Technology-leveraged polylinguality
p141 Challenges
1. Learning how to learn
2. Communicating effectively
3. Collaborating productively and effectively with others
4. Creative problem-solving
5. Managing failure
6. Effecting change in organizations and society
7. Making sound decision
8. Manging projects and achieving goals
9. Building perseverance and determination
10.Leveraging your passions and talents to make your world better.

chap 5 The Gold Ring: The College Degree
My summary: High college tuition forced students pursuing joy of learning into seeking career oriented learning.

We're Losing Our Minds: Rethinking American Higher Education by Richard Keeling

Chap 6 Teaching, Learning, And Assessing
p204 Just in case (old education) vs. Just in time (new education)
p205 Pedagogical Principles:
.attack meaningful, engaging challenges
.have open access to resources.
.struggle, often for days, and learn how to recover from failure
.engage in frequent debate
.learn to ask good questions
.display accomplishments publicly
.work hard because they are intrinsically motivated.

Education information:
1. Stanford 's Reading Like A Historian (engaged in historical inquiry)
2. Committee of Ten in 1893 design the subjects teaching in school
subjects define the school in 7-12
Math, English, history, science(physics, chemistry, biology) , foreign language.
3. K-5 Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf Schools
4. Coalition of Essential Schools (10 common principles)
5. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), commonly known as The Nation's Report Card.
6. College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA)
7. Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA)
8. U.S.News and World Report (USNWR): ranking
9. Harkness method: Socratic discussion p199
10. Peer Instruction: A User's Manual by Eric Mazur
11. India Avanti Follows and peer-driven pedagogy and ConceptTests by Eric Mazur
12. Virtual High School (VHS)
13. Prisoner's Dilemma p211
14. Decisive life advantages p48
15. "No Child Left Behind" refer as "No Child Left Inspired"
16. The problem of SAT Bell Curve p208
17. "Teacher irrespective of how good they are, all want to teach" p202 My comment: resist tempting to teach, try to inspire.
18. Innovation in college: Olin College of Engineering; d.school of Standford; MIT Media Lab.
19. Education Innovation
MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses)
The Co-op Model (such as Northeastern, Waterloo)
Focused Feed-in Program (IBM P-TECH program)
ALPs: Accelerated Learning Programs (General Assembly, Dev Bootcamp, Flatiron)
Hacking your own: such as a series internship jobs
Meaningful Jobs Early::
Hands-On Advanced Degrees: Paul Graham's Y Combinator
Vocational Training /Community College:

High Tech High (HTH, San Diego);
Expeditionary Learning
The Future Project

226 reviews2 followers
March 5, 2021
In the beginning, I really loved this book. It was refreshing and affirming about my own views about the craziness of standardized testing.

Then, the bloom was gone and I hated it. It was radically smug, and I felt as though my life's calling (teaching) was being called out as obsolete by the authors. I felt dismissed.

Then, I fell in love with it again because it was hopeful rather than hopeless, and the book is truly visionary. Truly. And I have radical hope. I do.

Then, I hated it again, because the solutions presented seem (to me) to be Pie-in-the-Sky outrageous and impossible to actually implement.

But then I realized that the solutions are not impossible to implement, and that I am just tired. I am tired and worn down by a broken system that is failing our kids and failing our nation. I am exhausted by the energy it takes to help students realize why learning matters, and to watch them struggle (and often fail!) to apply what they learn to complex problems in the world.

Mostly, I feel helpless because students come to me (a college professor) from high school backgrounds that are abysmally lacking in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative problem-solving. I can't fix this in four years...I can't fix this in eight. This needs to start in preschool.

This book is about a radical new approach to education. It's not about fixing a broken system. It's about building something new.

It's inspiring and infuriating. It's validating and it is a call to action. It's an accusation and an invitation. It is a light in the deep, deep dark of our current education system.

I had a full-on relationship with this book. It changed me.
Profile Image for Jorge Fuentes.
90 reviews11 followers
November 21, 2021
Reads more like a political speech or self help book than an academic book. The book does describe many real problems like how school drains creativity and doesn't teach job skills and how our labor market needs different skills as rote tasks are left to computers. But, its support is full of fluffy, "inspirational" language with carefully crafted metaphors and historical lens to point and laugh at how obvious the problems are and correct their solution is. Avoids grappling with conflicting views and offers anecdotes claiming its well supported by high status individuals and evidence, but they didn't share the evidence here. I believe this is the book's intention as they even mention near the end how this book and their accompanying movie can provide cover to reformers within schools. I not against their vision rejecting college rankings and standardized tests in favor of a focus on self directed, cross disciplinary projects and discussion based learning focusing on the 4 C's: collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. But, I didn't enjoy the writing and would have stopped reading if I didn't care so much about education and found a few good, new points.

"Our opportunity—and our obligation to our youth—is to reimagine our schools, and give all kids an education that will help them thrive in a world that values them for what they can do, not the facts that they know."
Profile Image for La-Shanda.
183 reviews7 followers
May 12, 2021
If you want to understand the challenges in teaching the whole child, this book is for you. What I most appreciate about author Tony Wagner, he supports the ideas of teaching beyond the test (SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement, etc...) Teaching from the heart inspires students to take risks, tap into their creative self, while illustrating mastery through skills rather than drills.
Profile Image for Юра Мельник.
309 reviews30 followers
January 23, 2019
Книга більше про американські реалії, у нас і до такої системи освіти ще далеченько. Однак наголос на всіх цих тенденціях, щодо освіти майбутнього дуже важливий.
Profile Image for Melanie.
579 reviews7 followers
August 22, 2017
Wagner and Dintersmith present a compelling, well-researched argument for the need to revolutionize education in the United States.

Having worked in independent settings that have the resources and agency to experiment with these authors' initiatives, I am well-acquainted with the ideas entertained in both the "Most Likely to Succeed" film and this text. While I theoretically support almost all of what is put forth in this text, I have witnessed uneven and sometimes ineffective execution of the 21st century approaches. It's unfortunate because with the right kind of alchemy, I think implementing what is put forth in this text can be transformational and highly effective. I still believe that taking the leap and building an innovative program is worth it, but in determining the efficacy of such an approach, there needs to be support and professional development for those teachers in helping them determine how to assess work/products so that they don't completely toss out rigor in the process. Just as Wagner and Dintersmith point out that technology alone does not equal innovation (and rightfully claim that much educational technology integration is still organized around the completion of low-level tasks using technology as a vehicle), I would argue that simply employing these new approaches (such as project-based learning) without careful research and planning may not necessarily translate into BETTER learning unless you find ways to help the teachers in said programs strive to ensure that assessment is not fluffy and allowing the students to bypass REAL learning. Wagner and Dintersmith begin to talk about how to assess this learning in ways that still uphold quality and rigor, but this is where I would have liked to see more development and a sharpened focus.

One thing I wished the authors had emphasized more is the idea of merging passion AND challenge. I felt at times that there was such focus on passion that challenge/rigor was overlooked or downplayed. Too often, one is lost at the expense of the other, and I think they need to be merged effectively to make sure that the learning is deep and meaningful because the marriage of passion AND appropriate challenge is the sweet spot for students. As ELA teacher and consultant Penny Kittle outlined in her text Book Love, while she does give her students the freedom to decide which books they will read next, as she develops rapport with each of her students and grows more attuned to each one's strengths and challenges, she works to scaffold their reading worlds. First, you need to get a student motivated and excited about reading....but if you get a student who just wants to keep reading thirty books by the same author, at some point, you may need to step in and encourage the student to take on a new, more challenging endeavor.

I believe that the Most Likely To Succeed authors are working on a new film where they will feature schools who have prioritized innovative learning, and if this is the case, I think it will be beneficial for educators trying to grapple with the "how" of implementing this kind of approach to see examples of the work in action.
Profile Image for Kate Schwarz.
851 reviews14 followers
August 16, 2019
Great read on what needs to happen to the American education system in order to produce "smart creatives" for the new Innovation Era. This was my first Tony Wanger book, so I didn't find it repetitive from his others--curious to read those earlier books to compare the information in them and to learn more about the education gap that exists between other countries and our own.

My notes from the book:

"Before the internet, it made sense to teach kids 'just facts.' But in today's world, there is no longer a competitive advantage in 'knowing more' than the person next to you because the knowledge has become a commodity available to all with a swipe of a finger. Now, adults need to be able to ask great questions, critically analyze information, form independent opinions, collaborate, and communicate effectively. These are the skills essential for both career and citizenship. Yet developing these is precisely where our schools fall so short."

"History gives us a starting point for thinking about education's core purpose. If you go back to 1893, when our current school system was defined, educators and industrialists had clear goals for education: prepare youth for manufacturing jobs by providing them with an education that focuses on routine tasks with minimal errors and no creative variations. These goals were perfect for most of the 20th century and served our nation well."

To understand the details of the interesting and innovative Finnish approach to education, watch the documentary "The Finland Phenomenon."

"Myth #2: If only we could fix our underperforming schools. The second prevailing view lies in problematic bottom tier of schools. The documentary 'Waiting for Superman' illustrates this view. We loved the drama of the film, but its message left us cold. The film's thesis is: millions of kids, almost all disadvantaged, inner city, African American, are stuck in failing schools with lazy, lousy teachers protected by teachers' unions. The ray of hope is the new wave of innovate charter schools that offer suberb education and, it just so happens, shake off the hold of those pesky unions and bureaucratic public school officials. Since admission to charter schools is extremely limited, applicants enter a lottery for admissions that leaves their future up to pure chance."

"Deborah Myer has written extensively about how to prepare high school graduates for citizenship. At the heart of what they need is mastery over the five habits of mind, habits of asking the right questions. In her powerful 2009 essay 'Democracy at Risk,' she presents the best definition we've seen as what is often vaguely referred to as critical thinking, described concisely as:
Evidence: how do we know what we know, and what's the evidence?
Viewpoint: could there be another point of view?
Connections, cause and effect: Do you see any patterns? Has this happened before? What are the possible consequences?
Conjecture: could it have been otherwise? If even just one thing had happened differently, what might have changed?
Relevance: does it matter? Who cares?"

Watch Ted Talk: Teaching Kids Real Math with Computers (Wolkram)

"Student learning is consequential. Teachers and peers give excellent feedback, students assess their own work that's reflective, achievements can be captured in digital portfolios. But you can't assign students a precise score or rank students on a national basis on a nuanced argument that supports the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. And that's why our history classes, are in Joe Friday's words, 'just the facts, ma'am.'"

"William Deresiewicz's 2014 book 'Excellent Sheep' spells out in frightening detail the epidemic of depression among America's elite youth. Stanford Provost John Echimande (sp?) convened a task force on students' mental health issues, reporting that 'increasingly, we are seeing students struggling with mental health concerns ranging from self esteem issues and developmental disorders to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self mutilation behaviors, schizophrenia, and suicidal behavior.' "

"Learning. We often ask educators: 'Do you think your purpose is to 'teach students' or 'help students learn?' We like to ask this even though, or perhaps because of, the puzzled looks in return. Most educators think that 'teaching' and 'helping students learn' are synonymous. But as we shall see, they are often worlds apart."

"The harder part is helping students develop the skill and the will to ask new questions, solve new problems and create new knowledge. As we said in chapter two, we believe that this tripod--content knowledge, skill, and will--is the foundation of all learning in the 21st century. Of the three, we believe that will, or motivation, is the most important, and the one damaged most by our schools today. If students are intrinsically motivated, they will continue to acquire new skills and content knowledge throughout their lives, allowing them to thrive in the Innovation Era."

"Under his leadership, Riverdale Country School has undertaken a number of exciting new initiatives and partnerships. The first step was to eliminate all Advanced Placement courses. In a November 2014 conversation with Randolph, we asked how this bold step had impacted student admissions to the most selective colleges. 'It's actually improved,' he said. 'Our students are often taking interdisciplinary courses now like the study of contemporary Latin American politics in a course that is taught in Spanish or Applied Calculus combined with Advanced Physics. So their transcripts are much more distinctive than those of other independent schools.' Riverdale has also partnered with IDEO (sp?), one of the world's most innovative design companies, to teach educators the skills of design thinking and rapid prototyping and to bring more 'making' into classrooms. Randolph has long been concerned with the problem of developing character through education. Riverdale's initiatives were documented in a September 14 2011 NYT magazine article by Paul Tough, and in his subsequent book."

"...the character lab, which sponsors school-based research on topics related to character development. One of their findings was that intellectual character skills, such as curiosity, are surprisingly anemic predictors of report cards grades. 'Doing what you need to do to earn high marks on your report card is important, but your grades might not reflect other important qualities, like creativity or the ability to think independently. We have to be careful not to assume that what we know how to measure is all there is that's worth measuring,' Randolph told us." They are reimagining senior year--and perhaps junior year as well. They created a few week-long courses that happen in the city, with a lot of independent learning.

Beaver Country Day is another school, K-12, that has been particularly innovative. Hutton is head there, in charge for over 20 years.

"For a great resource encouraging members of a school community to experriment with low-risk hacks, check out our 'School Retool.' Here's a hypothetical example of how this might work: A small group of volunteers decides to help move a school forward. 1) They organize a community event around a compelling speaker or powerful film, like 'Most Likely to Succeed.' Then they discuss in small groups the topics at hand."

"We love the expression: 'In the desert, it doesn't take much rain to make the flowers bloom.' Whether you're a parent or a teacher, you can tap into amazing online resources that help students develop critical skills. For instance, the website www.thesparklist.org highlights the best of that's out there. Rather than listing an overwhelming number of options, the Spark List is highly selective, with the goal of making it easy for you to find engaging challenges aligned with your child's passions."
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