- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (December 24, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1475830939
- ISBN-13: 978-1475830934
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Building Powerful Learning Environments: From Schools to Communities
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Building Powerful Learning Environments takes us far beyond the walls of schools and into a present reality: The global village is the classroom and young people encounter information, learning experiences, and opportunities to be challenged around the clock. How do we support and nourish these learners? With clarity and precision, Arina Bokas describes a new model of collaborative partnerships in which parents no longer view schools as the primary source of learning, and schools no longer insulate themselves from parents. The result is a powerful argument for seeing learning as an interconnected journey fueled by a common vision for the future. (Thom Markham, founder of PBL Global, formerly of Envision Schools and the Buck Institute for Education, author of “Project Based Learning Design and Coaching Guide: Expert tools for innovation and inquiry for K–12 teachers”)
This book should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of learning in this country. It provides a helpful overview of the landscape of education and powerful examples of partnerships, making the case for disrupting the status quo in most schools today. We are well beyond the Hollywood myth of the 'teacher-hero' who can change young people’s hearts and minds all on her own. Arina Bokas makes the convincing argument that meaningful learning environments are co-constructed and that we all have a responsibility for them. Our children deserve nothing less. (Jim Reese, director of the Professional Development Collaborative at Washington International School and education chair of the Project Zero Perspectives conferences, Harvard Graduate School of Education)
What can be done today by educators and administrators to nurture positive learning ecosystems? Pick up a copy of Building Powerful Learning Environments for a great read about roles and responsibilities in education and concrete strategies on how to improve learning environments for all students. (Dr. Carri Schneider, co-author of Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning and director of Knowledge Design, Getting Smart)
The world is our classroom, and educators need parents as partners. Arina Bokas provides page after page of practical strategies to foster this partnership with families and communities for the benefit of our students. Using the processes outlined in Building Powerful Learning Environments: From Schools to Communities, educators and school leaders can build authentic partnerships in their schools and districts. (Connie Hamilton, EdS, curriculum director for Saranac Community Schools, MI, and independent educational consultant)
About the Author
Arina Bokas is the editor of Kids’ Standard Magazine and a faculty member at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan. She has served her community both as a public school and district PTA president. Arina currently works on the Michigan PTA Leadership Development Committee and produces The Future of Learning public TV series with Independence Television.
Top customer reviews
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I pre-ordered this book before its release and was excited to get it. I couldn’t put it down. Informative. Inspirational. Thought provoking. Real. Timely. And not always comfortable. This book reminded me how far behind many school and district structures and policies are from the dynamics of the real world and our times. Unlike some other books on educational reform that offer nothing more but criticism and dissection of flows, "Building Powerful Learning Environments" is focused on solutions. It is a breath of progressive thinking that left me jotting notes and re-thinking my own attitudes and preconceptions. It also left me feeling more excited and optimistic about the future of education than I have been in some time.
I found questions for reflections to be very deep and probing. My own answers at times made me feel uncomfortable, as I realized the shortsightedness of my perceptions. I immediately saw what a teacher or a school leader can put into practice right away and what can become the next step in creating a culture of partnerships in education. No matter where your school or district is in this regard, this books guides you to assess your situation and take it from there.
I appreciate the fact that the book addresses potential areas of pushback and talks honestly about underlying reasons for a lack of authentic partnerships among schools, communities, and families, offering strategies to overcome them. I found chapter snapshots to be very helpful. They provide a pointed side-by-side comparison of old and new thinking dispositions as well as practices that help make a shift. A chapter on how to partner with disadvantaged families and families with special education students is especially insightful since this is a common problem.
"Building Powerful Learning Environments" is a MUST read for teachers, principals, superintendents, and policy makers. I will never think of a learning environment the same way. It is ironic to think that learning belongs to schools only. It’s time to get real.
I appreciated the relationship between rethinking learning environments for the sake of fostering 21st century needs of students and future employers. Bokas explains how collaborative partnerships advance student agency, grit, empathy, and more.
Chapter after chapter, I marked practical strategies and reflection questions that not only grew my own thinking, but marked to later share with my colleagues. This book is a must read for anyone involved in the education system, including teachers, administration, school board members, educational consultants, and parents.