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The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform: Can We Change Course Before It's Too Late Paperback – November 16, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-1555426231 ISBN-10: 1555426239

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (November 16, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555426239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555426231
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In an attempt to prevent the failure of current educational reform efforts, Sarason (psychology, Yale) explores the issues confronting reform and presents them with new emphasis and focus. His book is addressed to those whose roles affect reform: the community of educators, legislators, policy makers, foundations, business leaders, and parents. Substantive chapter discussions and illustrative examples examine the present educational system regarding the areas of change, power relationships, cooperative learning, imitation, replication, intractability, and goals. The author "challenges schools and communities to look at education in a whole new light," stating "the biggest risk in education is not taking one." Exceptionally well written, this is not so much a blueprint for change, but a penetrating, inspirational tract which calls educators to action. Academic and public libraries serving educators and others concerned with these issues will not want to miss it.
- Francine M. DeFranco, St. John's Univ. Lib., Staten Island, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Sarason challenges educators to understand that to continue to struggle for 'power over' rather than `power with' overlooks the mutual interest of all parties that will stifle any real progress in education reform. In a classroom utilizing effective teaching practices students would respond to the question, `How do you rate this book?' with all thumbs up."

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "rodfarm" on April 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sarason writes for those who are members of the community of learners and members of the political community whose role and power affect the direction of educational reform. His ideas are not unique, but are distinctive in that there is an emphasis of ideas that have in the past have been kept separate. His belief is that as long as we keep them separate, failure will occur.
Chapter One discusses the inability of past reform efforts to be effective in making changes occur, and why this dilemma condemn to failure current and future attempts. Chapter Two will review the obstacles when those initiating reform encounter when they don't truly understand the dynamics of the educational system. Chapter Three takes an in depth look at the power relationships within the system, and failure to do so will prevent desired changes from occurring. Chapter Four asks the difficult question as to whom should be involved in the decision-making. The educational system and private sector are compared. The Scanlon Plan is also discussed. Chapter Five will delve into the power structure within the educational system as related to the power relationships within the classroom. There are five examples provided in Chapter Six as to why efforts in educational reform have not been successful. Sarason will compare the educational systems with the medical profession, and the relationship to changes in both areas. Implementation, imitation, and replications of reform efforts are rarely successful. This failure will be discussed in Chapter Seven. Chapter Eight seeks to give you further food for thought in answering that age old question, "For whom do schools exist?". The author will take the position that schools equally exist for the development of both staff and students.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "sabagdm" on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
Seymour Sarason's thoughts on educational reform are shown in both a positive and negative light. He believes that change in educational practices must be radical if they are going to work. He states, "To us, the biggest risk in education is not taking one." He maintains that it is certain disaster to continue fine tuning an already broken system. As an educator, I find that Sarason establishes grounds for his concerns even though his critism is gloomy at best. He continues to go back to the bottom line and question whether schools are really doing what is best for children. On a positive note, Sarason raises valid points that challenge educators to look at their own practices and beliefs in a way that will make learning and student achievement foremost in every classroom. It would be difficult to read his book and not feel the need for change. How radical the change needs to be is uncertain, unless one agrees with Sarason.
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