Letters to a Serious Education President
- Seymour B. Sarason - Yale University, USA
Foreword by Andy Hargreaves
Leadership | Reflective Practice | School Change, Reform, & Restructuring
`Letters to a Serious Education President underscores the brilliance of Sarason's observations about what is and continues to be missing in how we conceptualize and hence implement schooling in our society. . . . Indeed, Sarason is calling for a different education--one that enlivens the curiosity and lifelong learning of all children and their teachers' - Rhona Weinstein, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
In this new edition of his original insightful collection of letters to the first president of the 21st century, education luminary Seymour B. Sarason details how school reformers still have difficulty examining the differences between contexts of productive and unproductive learning. Originally written nearly 13 years ago, these letters are even more relevant in today's era of extreme mandates and accountability measures. It is in this context where Sarason's acute insight into why school reforms are failing that we must turn to the fundamental question of how we are teaching and supporting all students.
Sarason's seemingly simple focus emphasizes that we must start with "what and where children are," inspiring and encouraging their natural curiosity for learning. Detailed within is coverage of:
o An educational agenda beginning with children
o The need for both repair and prevention in education
o How classrooms extinguish curiosity
o Educator preparation program reform
o School downsizing
o Dropping out as a response to an uncaring school culture
o A critique of the No Child Left Behind Act, and more.
Sarason's analysis and powerful letters are packed with humor, common sense, practical advice, and recommendations for reaching students in today's classrooms. They distinguish between the typical rhetoric of educational change and the necessary actions that affect present and future generations of students.
"Letters to a Serious Education President provides sound advice for what it would take to provide all students in the United States with a high quality education. There is wisdom and profound insights about how to improve public education in these letters, and of course, Sarason offers lots of common sense."
"Sarason is a master of the use of cases and stories ... what comes out is his voice, emotion, commitment, and desire to make a difference."
"Letters to a Serious Education President underscores the brilliance of Sarason's observations about what is and continues to be missing in how we conceptualize and hence implement schooling in our society... Indeed, Sarason is calling for a different education - one that enlives the curiosity and lifelong learning of all children and their teachers."
"A brilliantly written treatise ... Professor Sarason provides a most insightful glimpse into the inner workings of the political/public ploicy process, skillfully reflecting the quiet musings of a master observer."
"Seymour Sarason has graced us with a jewel of a book that includes the central themes in his lifetime of teaching and writing."
"The timing of this book could not be more fortuitous; the challenge could not be better framed; and the need to learn how to educate our children - all children - could not be more urgent. Policymakers, take heed."
"After decades of thought and study, Seymour Sarason has uncovered the most critical barriers to meaningful educational reform. In this book, he uses a novel device - letters to the President of the United States - to describe what it takes for reform to make a real difference where it matters most - in the typical classroom. Let's hope that not only the current President will read this book, but also all who are affected by and care about our schools."
"This is a book that makes you want to think, compels you to examine the questions raised, and forces you to look around and take stock and decide if what we have is what you want."