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Aim High, Achieve More: How to Transform Urban Schools Through Fearless Leadership

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1416614678
ISBN-10: 1416614672
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416614672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416614678
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Succinctly, through provocations rather than recipes, this guide -- grounded in theorizing from years of diverse experiences -- both encourages and acts as a support for educators and leaders (broadly conceptualized) to re-vision learning and teaching. Critically written, the text weaves narratives from the two authors' many years working to transform education, with theoretical discussions and thought provoking, community building inquiries in ways that speak to students who are studying to teach, graduate students, as well as practitioners. Reading this book and thinking through the calls to action will certainly lead to a rethinking of many pedagogical approaches. Ultimately, the book delivers on its promises and is a must read for anyone who wants some tools and support for changing urban education.
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While this book was written as a "how to" for transforming urban schools, the rock solid suggestions for administrators and teacher leaders are excellent and would be useful in any school settings. Aim High is well written and clearly organized to make the content accessible for those looking for a new perspective on healing sick schools. This is more than just a book outlining vague generalities. You'll find specific ideas you can put into practice. Each chapter ends with reflection questions and suggested action steps, making it ideal as for a faculty wide book study. The authors clearly know what the inside of a classroom looks like and that makes all the difference.
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Jackson and McDermott, as the other reviews above indicate, have indeed created a masterful guide to urban school renewal, and much more, to transforming all schooling. I was not fully attracted to the emphasis on achievement the book cover implies, and getting high scores, because as a holistic-integral curriculum designer I think we often are obsessed with quantitative measures. The more I read this book, the more I loved the use of archetypes/metaphors like the "muse" and "architect," "soul friend," and others. There is a distinct feminine, womanist African-American worldview operating throughout the book and this project to improve schools that have suffered under the American policies of Zero Tolerance and No Child Left Behind for starters--all undergirded with pernicious classism and racism--the fall out of a late capitalism that continues unfettered, creating great disparity "gaps" on so many domains of social and economic life. These authors and the people they work with in urban education have come to say No More--we can change!

For school leaders (including indirectly, teachers, parents, allies) in a process of needing dramatic changes in their practices and the environments they create for learning and teaching, there is no clearer message in the book than facing reality and speaking out truths that need to be told. And amongst the many barriers that get in the way of doing this, Jackson and McDermott set their "pedagogy of confidence" on an important insight that ought not be ever forgot in transformation--that is, "Fear is a factor in deflating will, stifling vision, and deadening the spirit that enticed educators to go into the field in the first place" (p. 52).
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This product is AWESOME, it is truly better than what i expected!!!!
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