- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 14, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071592067
- ISBN-13: 978-0071592062
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
It's no secret that people learn in different ways, so why, the authors of this book ask, "can't schools customize their teaching?" The current system, "designed for standardization," must by its nature ignore the individual needs of each student. The answer to this problem, the authors argue, is "disruptive innovation," a principle introduced (and initially applied to business) by Harvard Business School professor Christensen in The Innovator's Dilemma. The idea is that an audience in need will benefit from even a faulty opportunity to fulfill that need; in education, the demand for individual instruction could be met through infinitely customizable online computer-based instruction. The authors, all professionals in education, present a solution to the ills of standardized education that's visionary but far-fetched; even they admit that their recommendations would be extremely difficult to implement in current school systems. Still, the authors' unusual case, though occasionally bogged down in tangents, is worthy reading for school administrators, teachers, parents and, perhaps most of all, software developers. Charts.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From the Back Cover
WARNING: THIS BOOK WILL CHALLENGE
EVERYTHING YOU EVER LEARNED-ABOUT LEARNING
“After a barrage of business books that purport to 'fix' American education, at last a book that speaks thoughtfully and imaginatively about what genuinely individualized education can be like and how to bring it about.”
-Howard Gardner, author of Five Minds for the Future
“A decade ago, Clayton Christensen wrote a masterpiece, The Innovator's Dilemma, that transformed the way business looks at innovation. Now, he and two collaborators, Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson, have come up with another, focusing his groundbreaking theories of disruptive innovation on education."
-David Gergen, US Presidential Advisor
“Clayton Christensen's insights just might shake many of us in education out of our complacency and into a long needed disruptive discourse about really fixing our schools. This will be a welcome change after decades in which powerful calls to action have resulted in only marginal improvements for our nation's school children.”
-Vicki Phillips, director of Education, Gates Foundation
“Full of strategies that are both bold and doable, this brilliant and seminal book shows how we can utilize technology to customize learning. I recommend it most enthusiastically.”
-Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester (NY) Teachers Association, and vice president of the American Federation of Teachers
"Finally we have a book from the business community that gets it. Disrupting Class from Clayton Christensen and colleagues points out that motivation is central to learning and that if schools and learning are to be transformed as they must be, motivation must be at the center of the work. They also point out how technology should be used to personalize learning and what the future might look like for schools. A must read for anyone thinking and worrying about where education should be headed."
-Paul Houston, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators
“Powerful, proven strategies for moving education from stagnation to evolution.”
-Christopher Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“Clayton Christensen and colleagues describe how disruptive technologies will personalize and, as a result, revolutionize learning. Every education leader should read this book, set aside their next staff meeting to discuss it, and figure out how they can be part of the improvement wave to come.”
-Tom Vander Ark, President, X PRIZE Foundation
“In Disrupting Class, Christensen, Horn and Johnson argue that the next round of innovation in school reform will involve learning software. While schools have resisted integrating technology for instruction, today's students are embracing technology in their everyday lives. This book offers promise to education reformers.”
-Kathleen McCartney, Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“The genius of Disrupting Class is the spotlight the book throws on how we can tap children’s early enthusiasm for school by letting them learn in best-choice, individualized ways, the teacher’s role transformed from ‘sage on stage’ to ‘guide on the side.’”
--Seattle Times & Post-Intelligencer
Top customer reviews
Will this lead to better educational success? And what about the obstacles that have frustrated policymakers, administrators, teachers, and parents who have tried to improve schools for years? How will this be achieved? The authors address these and other questions by applying the theory of disruption - a powerful body of theory that describes how people interact and react, how behavior is shaped, how organizational cultures form and influence decisions - to the convergences underway today.
Computer learning has, until now, been crammed into the existing educational structure without success. With a changing environment, there are now drivers which are changing the landscape allowing computer-learning to penetrate "foothold" (non-standard learning situations where computer-learning will be embraced) markets. These new market niches are, in-turn, encouraging the development of innovative "student centric" programs (like The Khan Academy,[...]) which are experiencing rapid adoption.
The main drivers for the creation of "foothold" market adoption include:
* The pressure on schools to improve test scores in core subject areas is leading to a greater investment of resources and time in math and reading at the expense of other courses. The "nice-to-have" courses are being dropped by school districts creating a vacuum which has become an opportunity for on-line providers to fill. While teacher unions will oppose computer-based courses for core curriculum, they will not object to computer-based courses they will not teach.
* A rapidly growing home-schooling market. Parents are seeking computer-based courses to augment their children's coursework with professional teaching. There is no union issue to contend with.
Penetration of the "foothold markets" combined with four additional factors will accelerate substitution of computer-based learning in the traditional school:
1. Computer-based learning will keep improving now that markets are established. Technological improvements will make learning more engaging.
2. Research will advance to enable the design of student-centric software appropriate to each type of learner. This ability for students, teachers, and parents to select a learning pathway to fit an individual's learning style will mark a breakthrough in learning...and teaching.
3. A looming teacher shortage will drive educators to find new ways to teach. .
4. Inexorable cost pressures on schools will drive administrators to find more cost-effective ways of delivering education. With software-based learning, costs will fall significantly with scale-up.
"Disrupting Class" provides real hope, predicated on an analytical framework, that schools in the future will fulfill their basic mission to: maximize human potential; facilitate a vibrant democracy; hone the skills, capabilities, and attitudes that will help our economy to be prosperous and competitive; and nurture the understanding that people can see things differently. This is a must read for anyone interested in education, its future, and the future of our society.
Christensen is a professor at the Harvard Business School who developed a theory of disruptive change to explain what happens in business when new technology disrupts a stable market (e.g., the personal computer and its impact on mid-size and mainframe computers). I was skeptical that a business school professor would get anything right about education. In fact he gets a lot right: education does need a paradigm shift to accommodate diminishing numbers of teachers and diminishing resource, and to accommodate the long discussed little addressed differences among learners and how to accommodate it in classes of 20 or more using lecture as the principal teaching method. The notion that courses delivered over the internet could be built to accommodate individual differences in learning style, and could free teachers from administrative tasks to allow them to tutor one on one, is intriguing. Christensen does NOT do the heavy lifting of building such courses, he only motivates those who are considering that heavy lifting. But he does provide the rationale for being willing to do the heavy lifting to build excellent courses delivered on the internet, and to invest the billions needed to give each student access to a computer in multiple classrooms.