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The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business [Paperback]

by Dennis Littky, Samantha Grabelle
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1, 2004 0871209713 978-0871209719
What is the purpose of education? What kind of people do we want our children to grow up to be? How can we design schools so that students will acquire the skills they'll need to live fulfilled and productive lives?

These are just a few of the questions that renowned educator Dennis Littky explores in The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business. The schools Littky has created and led over the past 35 years are models for reformers everywhere: small, public schools where the curriculum is rich and meaningful, expectations are high, student progress is measured against real-world standards, and families and communities are actively engaged in the educational process.

This book is for both big "E" and small "e" educators:
* For principals and district administrators who want to change the way schools are run.
* For teachers who want students to learn passionately.
* For college admissions officers who want diverse applicants with real-world learning experiences.
* For business leaders who want a motivated and talented workforce.
* For parents who want their children to be prepared for college and for life.
* For students who want to take control over their learning . . . and want a school that is interesting, safe, respectful, and fun.
* For anyone who cares about kids.

Here, you'll find a moving account of just what is possible in education, with many of the examples drawn from the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center ("The Met") in Providence, Rhode Island--a diverse public high school with the highest rates of attendance and college acceptance in the state and a dropout rate of less than five percent. The Met exemplifies personalized learning, one student at a time.

The Big Picture is a book to re-energize educators, inspire teachers in training, and start a new conversation about kids and schools, what we want for both, and how to make it happen.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Deve (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871209713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871209719
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenge to American schools, a model that works September 20, 2005
Format:Paperback
Littky's book challenges the traditional philosophy and practices of American schools. And we deserve that challenge. We are raising kids in dysfunctional schools, dysfunctional even when we believe they are working satisfactorily. At the most fundamental level the philosophy upon which the schools are based, a philosophy laid down in the Nineteenth Century designed to train people to fulfill the needs of industry, has not changed. The problem is that training is not educating. Defining the success of schools by standard tests, the method used to upgrade the dysfunctional system by No Child Left Behind only serves to make the dysfunctional system worse. America's children need a better system.

Littky, after thirty or more years of work in public schools as a principal has turned the old philosophy out the door. His objective is to lead children to love learning and that leads to radically different kinds of schools. In his schools parents are closely involved with the work in every way. Students and teachers work in small groups focusing on projects that cultivate the interests and the skills of the students. School bells do not ring interrupting the process of learning. Students open themselves to the learning process, develop confidence and the needed basic skills of writing and mathematics in the process of doing the projects that fascinate them. Learning becomes joyful. Teachers then become not loaders of information but leaders, fellow learners, who help the child develop the information necessary to the learning process. And, yes, to do this schools must be smaller than we have come to make them in the last fifty years. Huge consolidated, impersonal schools have failed. Littky demonstrates how much more effective small schools are at every level.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This was a very interesting read for me; I highly recommend it to parents, teachers and anyone who is interested in alternatives to the public school system. I was rapidly losing my trust in the current educational system. What's most disturbing for me is all of the professionals who write about urban education, its causes and how to repair it. Often, these professionals are so far removed from the problem its incomprehensible how they can propose to interpret the real life issues that exist. Littky's common sense approach that he introduced to The Met starts with treat every child with respect; give value to their dreams and their interest. Help them discover THEIR talents. Help them find the connection in putting their talents and interest towards building a life goal. Hire only educators who embrace this vision, and recognize that as teachers they are also part of the learning experience. I was most inspired by Littky's belief that all of the children who walk through the door of The Met will graduate, will succeed and will do something great with their lives. Believing in them, makes them believe in themselves. To quote Franklin Covey "begin with the end in mind".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only... April 28, 2012
By AC
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If only the education community would wake up to why American children are failing in school. This book created new concepts in how childrens lives should be a part of their education, not outside their education, and how one person can impact thousands like a wave in a pond.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, love this book! March 7, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow! This is an amazing book about the Met - a charter school in Rhode Island. I can see why teachers are on waiting lists trying to work there. This is a must read for any teacher, school administrator, and parent. This guy gets it right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Satisfied November 29, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was my first time ordering a used book from an Amazon affiliate and I couldn't be more pleased!! The review said the book was in fair condition, but I found that the book was in excellent condition. The price was great and they shipped my book promply. I would definitely do business with this organization again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Picture November 5, 2010
By Diana
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very good book. I would love to have my children in a school like the Met. The Stories are very interesting and very meaningful to anyone not just someone in the career of education.Well worth reading!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Littky's view of education December 13, 2007
Format:Paperback
This book opened my eyes to the endless possibilities, and opportunities of learning for students. It is an easy read that is hard to put down. Dennis Littky is a person that is not just talking about change in education, he is making change. He takes the focus off of the schools and puts it on the students. Littky has found that by focusing on students interest's, they are able to reignite students excitement they once had for learning. He also believes that we must act now and become involved if we plan to have an impact in these students learning opportunities, and their future. Students are encouraged in Met schools to pursue personal interests, and then a curriculum is designed around that to guide the student through their learning process.

I would highly recommend this book to any parent, teacher or administrator that wants to begin on the path to get their child or student excited about their own education.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing ideas on educating our kids! December 29, 2013
By ChelbyR
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After homeschooling our youngest for two years, we have finally found the ideal school for her. Enrolling her at The Met led me to read this book and realize that I am not alone in my ideas on education. I highly recommend this book for anyone who's child is struggling, lost, or being held back in their own success.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
This book has a lot of insights of how education should be. I have learned a lot and it is a easy read.
Published 9 months ago by Soyeon Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
The book was in excellent condition, I received it in a timely fashion and the service was outstanding. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Chewy from Texas
5.0 out of 5 stars education is everyone's business
Used this for an education course. This was very informative and the author gave examples of his theories in the text concerning education in the 21 century
Published on May 14, 2011 by t.carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Parents, Teachers, and Administrators: Please read this book!!
This book is beyond inspiring. It sets a tone for the way public education in America should be. Truth be told, when I first started reading this book I felt it was an... Read more
Published on October 20, 2010 by NikkiAlexis
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired
This book is truly an inspiration for me, as a future teacher. The points the author hits coincide with what I believe to be the purpose of education. Read more
Published on June 24, 2009 by G. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in making a difference in the world through education.
Published on January 2, 2009 by Noodle
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Teachers, Administrators, Parents, Students and anyone...
Dennis Littky truly understands the education system and HOW it SHOULD be run! The Big Picture is well written and an easy understandable read! Read more
Published on December 14, 2007 by Jessica Dabbeekeh
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