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Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education Paperback – April 19, 2016
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“Compelling...Robinson wants a revolution in education...and he wants us—you—to be the change.”—The Guardian
“Creative Schools is one of those rare books that not only inspires and brings a new sense of possibility to the goal of transforming education, but also lays out an actionable strategy. Ken Robinson is leading a daring revolution to change how we understand schools, learning, and most importantly, the passion and talent of our students. This is a global game-changer and I'm in.”—BRENÉ BROWN, PH.D., author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly
“Creative Schools is wonderful and enjoyable. It makes us rethink what real schooling, learning, and creativity means.”—MALALA YOUSAFZAI, author of I Am Malala and Nobel Prize Laureate
"Ken Robinson’s Creative Schools offers a brilliant and compelling vision for what education must become. His powerful call to action cites wonderful examples where the education of the future is happening today. Don’t miss this important book!”—TONY WAGNER, author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap and Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab
“Make me care. Sir Ken and Lou turn these three words into a mantra for the future of education. We don't do education to students, we do it with them. I hope every teacher and every parent reads this.”—SETH GODIN, author of Stop Stealing Dreams
"Sir Ken Robinson has been a leading voice for radical change in education for decades. In Creative Schools, he not only articulately defines the problem, but also provides a practical roadmap for transforming the system one school at a time. Far from being a pipe dream, Sir Ken Robinson highlights educators who are leading the charge and revolutionizing education NOW."—DAVE BURGESS, New York Times bestselling author of Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator
“From the pen of the world's expert on creativity comes a comprehensive and compelling statement of why creativity matters for everyone, what it looks like in action, what kinds of curriculum and assessment systems are needed to support it, and how to get there. Inspiring and so readable you will feel Sir Ken is talking directly to you.”—ANDY HARGREAVES, author of Professional Capital and Thomas More Brennan Chair at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education
“Ken Robinson is the world’s most potent advocate of global education transformation; his clarity, passion and insight have inspired millions, including me. This book is not only a catalyst, or call to action; it is a manifesto; a practical exploration and celebration of what is possible. Now it’s up to us; we must read, react and accelerate the revolution.”—RICHARD GERVER, author of Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today
“Sir Ken Robinson does it again with this compelling book. His explanations and examples are spot on. As Creative Schools shows, there’s no denying the change is occurring.”—ELLIOT WASHOR, Co-Founder of Big Picture Learning and author of Leaving to Learn
“Forget the chatter about disruptive technological and economic forces in education. Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica vividly describe the disruptions that are needed if we are to have quality education in our time.”—HOWARD GARDNER, author of Five Minds for the Future
“This is the book we have been waiting for from Sir Ken Robinson —laying out what is fundamentally wrong with our education systems, and correspondingly showing what and how it should and could be different. He makes creativity, and much more, come alive. Don’t start reading this book unless you have three hours before you, as you will have difficulty putting it down. Then, think about what you might do and re-read the book with others to start making the changes. Creative schools indeed! The timing is perfect.”—MICHAEL FULLAN, OC. Professor Emeritus, OISE/University of Toronto and author of The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact
“This book is a wake-up call to the emerging global human resources crisis. Increasing boredom, disengagement and dropouts among students have become chronic aspects of many school systems around the world. Creative Schools is a must-read for anyone who is interested in critique, vision, and theory of change for the new course of schooling.” —PASI SAHLBERG, author of Finnish Lessons 2.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland
About the Author
Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential educators. Listed by Fast Company as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” and ranked among the Thinkers50 of the world’s top business thought leaders, he advises governments, corporations, and leading cultural institutions. Lou Aronica is the author of four novels and coauthor of The Element and Finding Your Element. He lives in Connecticut.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a perfect world, schools would be communities in which shared learning thrives. Teachers are students and students are teachers. School board members, the administrative staff, parents, and other family members support and nourish shared learning in ways and to an extent appropriate to the given circumstances. Knowledge is shared, skills are developed, and personal growth accelerates naturally. In a perfect world….
If you are among the millions who have seen Ken Robinson’s TED program, you already know what he thinks about creative learning in today’s schools. He’s all for it but the sad reality is that, not despite but because of a relentless emphasis on raising standards through more competition and accountability, there is little – if any – creative learning by anyone in most schools today.
According to Robinson, this dangerous myth “is one of the main reasons why so many reform efforts do not work. On the contrary, they often compound the very problems they claim to be solving. They include the alarming rates of nongraduation from schools and colleges, the levels of stress and depression – even suicide – among students and their teachers, the falling value of as university degree, the rocketing costs of getting one, and the rising levels of unemployment among graduates and non graduates alike.”
The “revolution” to which this book’s subtitle refers is based on specific principles that Robinson thoroughly examines. They share so much in common with values affirmed by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his classic essay “Self-Reliance.” Both have a steadfast faith in educational purposes that are personal, cultural, social, and economic. As Robinson sees it, “the aims of education are [begin italics] to enable students to understand the world around them and the talents they have within them so that they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens [end italics].”
Ken Robinson offers concrete, real-world evidence of schools that are trying to offer the kind of rigorous, personalized, and engaged education that everyone needs but that so many have too long been denied. “They are part of a long revolution. This time it has to be for everyone, not for a select few. The stakes have never been higher, and the outcomes could hardly matter more.”
Presumably he agrees with me, however, that if the admirable objectives he envisions are to be achieved “for everyone,” progress toward that achievement must be measured in terms of “baby steps” and “small victories” that generate a momentum that – over time – simply cannot be denied or compromised.
What I loved: Ken's message is profound and inspirational. His main point is that the current structure of the education system does not support students' natural ability to learn in creative ways. He is against the standards movement and standardized testing because it narrows the curriculum and stifles creativity. He believes that children should learn the content that is most relevant to them, in the pedagogical style that best suits them, and at the pace that is most appropriate for them. My favorite part of the book is the criticism of the PISA results (the global standardized assessment) that are often used by politicians to scare us.
What I didn't like: The book relies heavily on the use of example schools that do not face the same restrictions that typical public schools are confronted with.
Bottom Line: This book is a must-read. Hopefully this book can increase the support for the creative schools movement and policymakers can begin to see that we are headed in the wrong direction.