- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Heinemann (March 7, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0325046042
- ISBN-13: 978-0325046044
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leaving to Learn: How Out-of-School Learning Increases Student Engagement and Reduces Dropout Rates
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Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski rightly identify student disengagement as the central cause of our nation s dropout crisis. Their solution leaving to learn connects education to the real world of life and work, creating highly engaged learners in the process. Their strategy redesigning schools in fundamental ways is made understandable by this vivid and compelling account.
Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University
Leaving to Learn puts forth a provocative and powerful argument: A significant number of capable young learners are dropping out of high school not because they can t meet their schools expectations, but because schools don t meet theirs. The authors have worked with these young people and have some exciting insights to share about student engagement and intrinsic motivation. If you re concerned about the dropout problem, you owe it to the young people in your life to pick up this book.
Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
Washor and Mojkowski make a vital contribution to reinventing high schools for the 21st century in this important book. They understand, far better than most, how critical it is to engage and motivate students to give them a reason to want to stay in school and to learn. This book is a must-read for anyone who truly wants to leave no child behind.
Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap
This book is for anyone who wants to understand how schools can ignite the passions and interests of all children and help them make a difference in their world. Supporting learning out in the world is the key to unleashing their potential and to learning who they are and what they want to become.
Susi Amis Cameron, Founder, Board Chair, MUSE School California
School isn t something that kids are trying to do. Rather, they want to succeed at important things. Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski show the remarkable transformations in schools and their students when this becomes their focus.
Clayton Christensen, Harvard business professor and author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns and How Will You Measure Your Life?
I applaud Elliot and Charles for their passion in serving students, impacting positive change, and ensuring we truly think about the education of our nation and beyond. This excellent book resets expectations and reengages us in the core of leadership in learning!
Stedman Graham, educator, entrepreneur, and author of Identity: Your Pathway to Success
The authors get inside young people s heads and hearts in order to understand why and how they disengage from learning and often drop out. It s deeper than you think, the authors say, and they are right. Their solution is spot on start with students interests to break the cycle of failure. Here s hoping schools will listen. --Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education, New York University
About the Author
Elliot Washor co-founded and co-directs Big Picture Learning. Involved in school reform for more than 35 years as a teacher, principal, writer and speaker, Elliot has worked all over the world designing and developing innovative schools that provide engaging learning environments. Elliot's interests lie in how schools connect with communities to credit learning that occurs both in and outside of school. The George Lucas Foundation has selected Elliot as one of The Daring Dozen - The Twelve Most Daring Educators. Charles Mojkowski has worked as a consultant to education and business organizations for over 30 years. He works primarily in the areas of school, program, and curriculum design; leadership and organizational development; and innovative applications of technology in these areas. He has authored numerous articles on unconventional designs for schools and schooling. Charles is a former English teacher, elementary school assistant principal, and administrator in the Rhode Island Department of Education. He was also an Associate Professor in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Johnson & Wales University.
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For example, look at this quote:
"Researchers have calculated the cost to society of dropouts but have missed the significantly larger cost of disengaged students who graduate from high school but are nonetheless unprepared for lifelong learning and whose talents and potential have been sadly ignored, often because those talents lie outside the traditional subject matter focus of a cognitive/abstract curriculum."
Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski have written the book that could aid those principals who are waiting for the right vocabulary to hit their desks. This book is the sledgehammer that principals need to tear down walls separating the workplace from classrooms. This book is the scissors needed to cut through red tape.
Parents can use this book to get the personalized school that will serve their children.
SUMMARY: Leaving to Learn...
Excellent procedures (pages 108-116 plus policies 123-124)
Vocabulary for teachers and principals... just the right amount of documentation to persuade a superintendent to allow a change in procedures....
Hey, parents and students,
School can be fun again -- and worth your time. Find out how: step one: Photocopy pages 108-116 and pages 123-124.
step two: deliver those copies to your principal.
step three: get a petition started to support these programs.
step four: deliver the signed petition to your principal's bosses.
Washor and Mojkowski have compiled a 150-page book that describes problems with schools and offers easy-to-follow procedures for allowing kids to learn outside the classroom.
The book will help parents talk to principals, who might have heard of projects and digital portfolios and personal learning plans, but lacked an easy-to-read way of showing their teachers "Hey, let's do this."
In this book, Elliot Washor and Charlie Mojkowski share the possibility of how to engage and reengage our youth in their learning, no matter where, by making it meaningful, purposeful, and useful ... by taking students' learning OUTSIDE the school. Based on the work of Big Picture schools and beyond, Elliot and Charlie provide clear and excellent advice as to how ANY school system can reengage their youth through out of school learning - whether it be internships, after school programs, work, or online learning.
My own daughter, oldest of three and now 22, hated high school (and she went to a supposedly good school!). An Honors student, she did her assignments as quickly as possible and homework on the bus. In short, she went through all the motions and when all was said and done, said she didn't want to go to college because she couldn't take sitting in chairs, reading material that didn't matter to her, or discussing material for which she saw no real purpose. Smart? Yes. Creative? Yes. Energetic and engaged otherwise? YES! When outside of school. How much would she have gained if her high school (again, one known throughout the state as one of the best) would have figured out a way to engage her real interests, passions, and talent. But no, and cynically I say, educators can't get out of their own way to do something better. Creatures of habit and unable to break the mold for the better, we are tied to alarm bells and moving students from subject-to-subject - because that is how it has always been done. It takes courage and will to do something different, even if it is the right thing to do. And unfortunately, it is easier to maintain the status quo then to push the envelope with something significantly different. And because of that, we continue to disengage our youth, an immoral act. And, unfortunately, they are the one's that suffer, not us, because we do not have the courage or will, or perhaps creativity, to do things that are better. Significantly better.
However, IF you are willing to be courageous and willing to step outside of the box for our youth, this book can help you consider new possibilities of engagement for our youth, tried and true. Whether you lead a district or school, or are an administrator or teacher, Leaving to Learn is filled with a multitude of ways to engage and reengage those who are already disengaged. And provides excellent advice on how to pursue these possibilities in your community. If my daughter could have had such opportunities, perhaps she would have considered college in a new light, seeing a purpose for going, just like the students in Big Picture schools and those others that have been afforded the opportunity to leave to learn.
As an educator of over 30 years (Harvard, Brown, and now Northeastern), I have worked in dozens of districts and a hundred schools, and I cannot think of one where the students could not have benefitted from the opportunity to learn OUTSIDE the box (conceptual and literal). And I cannot imagine this is not true of your kids too.
Based on years of experience at Big Picture schools and beyond, this book not only presents why to pursue such possibilities, but ideas on how to make it a reality in your own community. Test the waters. Dip your toe in. Read this book, and then ask ... now what?
Buy the book if you want to actively be part of a learning revolution. The authors provide an excellent foundation from which to begin. The task of creating effective learning environments is daunting, but sticking with a century-old model of education just doesn't make sense.
Chris - an alternative school educator