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The Education We Need for a Future We Can't Predict
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The Education We Need for a Future We Can't Predict

  • Thomas Hatch - Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University and Director, National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, & Teaching (NCREST)
  • Jordan Corson - Assistant Professor, Stockton University
  • Sarah Gerth van den Berg - Curriculum Designer and Doctoral Candidate, Teachers College, Columbia University

Thomas Hatch with Jordan Corson and Sarah Gerth van den Berg

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February 2021 | 248 pages | Corwin
Improve Schools and Transform Education

In order for educational systems to change, we must reevaluate deep-seated beliefs about learning, teaching, schooling, and race that perpetuate inequitable opportunities and outcomes. Hatch, Corson, and Gerth van den Berg challenge the narrative when it comes to the “grammar of schooling”--or the conventional structures, practices, and beliefs that define educational experiences for so many children—to cast a new vision of what school could be.

The book addresses current systemic problems and solutions as it:

  • Highlights global examples of successful school change
  • Describes strategies that improve educational opportunities and performance
  • Explores promising approaches in developing new learning opportunities
  • Outlines conditions for supporting wide-scale educational improvement

This provocative book approaches education reform by highlighting what works, while also demonstrating what can be accomplished if we redefine conventional schools. We can make the schools we have more efficient, more effective, and more equitable, all while creating powerful opportunities to support all aspects of students’ development.

"You won’t find a better book on system change in education than this one. We learn why schools don’t change; how they can improve; what it takes to change a system; and, in the final analysis, the possibilities of system change. Above all, The Education We Need renders complexity into clarity as the writing is so clear and compelling. A powerful read on a topic of utmost importance."

~Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, OISE/Universtiy of Toronto

 

"I cannot recommend this book highly enough – Tom tackles long-standing and emerging educational issues in new ways with an impressive understanding of the challenging complexities, but also feasible possibilities, for ensuring excellence and equity for all students."

~Carol Campbell, Associate Professor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto


 

 
List of Figures
 
List of Programs
 
Preface
An Education in Schools

 
An Education in School Reform

 
Why This Book?

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Introduction
School Improvement in (Norwegian) Perspective

 
Improving Schools and Transforming Education

 
Design and Organization

 
 
PART 1: WHY SHOULD SCHOOLS CHANGE?
 
Chapter 1: Increasing Access and Quality
What Has Improved in Schooling in the Developing World?

 
What Has Improved in Established Educational Systems?

 
Improvement Is Not Enough

 
The Bottom Line

 
 
Chapter 2: Establishing Equitable Learning Opportunities
Equity, Opportunity, and Education

 
The Vicious Cycle: Economic Inequality + Inequality of Educational Opportunity

 
Separate and Unequal

 
How Inequality Adds Up

 
The Bottom Line

 
 
Chapter 3: Learning With Purpose
What Are Schools For?

 
The Power of Unanticipated Learning

 
The Education We Need for a Future We Can’t Predict

 
The Bottom Line

 
Key Ideas From Part 1

 
 
PART 2: WHY DON’T SCHOOLS CHANGE?
 
Chapter 4: The “Grammar of Schooling” Always Pushes Back
The Possibilities of Incremental Improvement

 
The Challenges of Radical Change

 
What It Really Takes to Improve

 
 
Chapter 5: Beliefs Endure, but Times Change
“Real School” and “Real Learning”

 
Real Differences in Values

 
Turbulent Conditions

 
Improving in “Niches”

 
Key Ideas From Part 2

 
 
PART 3: HOW CAN SCHOOLS IMPROVE?
 
Chapter 6: From Common Concerns to High-Leverage Problems
Identifying Common Needs and Concerns

 
From Common Concerns to High-Leverage Problems

 
High-Leverage Problems and Foundational Skills

 
From High-Leverage Problems to Systemic Improvement

 
Looking for Leverage: Finding Productive Problems

 
 
Chapter 7: Solving Problems and Developing Micro-Innovations
Micro-Innovations for Teaching and Learning

 
Expanding the Power of Educators

 
Micro-Innovations Across the System

 
Micro-Innovations Beyond the Classroom

 
An Abundance of Needs and Possibilities

 
Key Ideas From Part 3

 
 
PART 4: HOW CAN EDUCATION CHANGE?
 
Chapter 8: The Conditions for Learning
Plugging Into Schools

 
Finding the Right Fit

 
Scaling Into School Systems

 
 
Chapter 9: From Possibilities to Practice
Building the Infrastructure for New Forms of Learning

 
Evolution and Expansion of the Infrastructure for Learning

 
Spandrels: Planning for Unpredictable Opportunities

 
Creating the Conditions for Improvement

 
Key Ideas From Part 4

 
 
PART 5: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE SCHOOL SYSTEMS?
 
Chapter 10: Capacity-Building
Investing in Expertise and Materials

 
Relationships and Social Networks

 
From “Best Practice” to Comprehensive Support

 
 
Chapter 11: Coherence and Common Understanding
What Does Curriculum “Renewal” in Finland Really Entail?

 
Coherence Inside and Outside Schools in Singapore

 
Beyond Alignment

 
 
Chapter 12: Collective Responsibility
Trust in Society

 
Accountability, Answerability, and Responsibility

 
Building the Capacity for Collective Responsibility

 
Improvement in a Norwegian Context

 
The Mechanisms That Can Support Education Into the Future

 
Key Ideas From Part 5

 
 
PART 6: CONCLUSION/REPRISE
 
Chapter 13: From Improvements to Movements
Pursue a Series of High-Leverage Problems

 
Develop New Approaches to Critical Challenges

 
Take Small Steps to Make Big Changes

 
Key Ideas for Creating the Education We Need

 
Condense Schooling and Increase Learning

 
 
Chapter 14: The Problems and Possibilities for Improvement in Every System
Improvement in Context

 
Steering Toward the Future

 
Between Nudges and Disruption

 
High-Leverage Leadership

 
 
References
 
Index

Hatch has written a deeply personal and reflective book that weaves decades of personal and global research evidence with his own personal experience as a student, parent and scholar in different countries. As a result, The Education We Need provides a unique, timely and compelling argument for how lives within schools and education systems are inextricably linked to local and national context.

This book will be essential reading for my students!

Karen Edge, Reader in Educational Leadership
UCL Centre for Educational Leadership, UCL Institute of Education

A well written and well-argued book, bringing in the value of small scale changes in improving whole educational systems across the developed and developing world. It is healthily critical, reflective and humble while seeking to be constructive and ultimately optimistic, too. The book shows that educational transformation without social transformation is extremely unlikely on any significant scale, but that substantial improvement of what already exists is feasible, desirable and, of itself, can make significant contributions to equity.

Andy Hargreaves
Research Professor, Boston College, Director of CHENINE (Change, Engagement & Innovation in Education), University of Ottawa, President & Co-Founder, ARC Education
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ISBN: 9781071802083
CAD$ 41.95

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