- Publisher: Beacon Press (2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807031127
- ISBN-13: 978-0807031124
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Power of Their Ideas: Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem Paperback – 2002
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Easy enjoyable reading with powerful ideas. Meier gets one to think, as she must do for those who attend her schools. She engages you in her journey, without being afraid to show you where she has run into difficulties and where she sees no simple answers.
All in all this is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested in exploring what is happening and could happen with public eduction in this country.
There is surprisingly little in this book which is new, innovative, or shocking. Indeed, much of what Meier has to say is mere common sense (like small schools and more proportionate teacher/student ratios work better). However,Meier puts common-sense notions in a way that grounds them in analogy and reality; one can't help but laugh on one page and growl on the next. Further, it is important to remember how much earlier Meier herself recognized and implemented these ideas than have other educators: while many of the ideas that she suggests are accepted, commonplace, and may be in vogue today, they were revolutionary when she began at Central Park East. The consequence of her early action is that the reader is privy to the RESULTS of many of the experimental ideas that other schools are just now begining to implement.
Furthermore, Meier specifically choses certain points that are currently in contention, and omits others; there is a definite pattern to her theory. You won't find mention of "gifted and talented" programs or even the necessity of monetary resources here (two ideas that are consistently part of heated debates regarding education reform); neither of these, Meier suggests through their omission, matter as much as the ideas she offers up, especially her "five habits of mind".
And as the statistics from her schools would show, she is on to something.Read more ›
Deborah Meier has lived it, not for one or two years, but for decades. In one of the worst slums in New York City, she and her associates turned an elementary and high school that rarely graduated anyone and sent almost no one on to college into one that sent almost everyone on to college and graduation.
Read how they did it. It is inspirational. It worked in Harlem. It will work in Chatsworth, Chatfield and Chattanooga, El Paso, El Dorado and Elgin. It is real.
What I was hoping for in the book, however, was more of a "how-to" for the classroom teacher. How do I convince kids that I care about them and create a sense of community in my small school? How do I deal effectively with student absenteeism, apathy, lack of parental support, violence in the home and neighborhoods, refusal to do homework, etc. etc. etc.? Meier seems to say that given the chance to really know my students and address these problems with my small-school colleagues, I'll be able to come up with the answers myself. I hope she's right, but I wish she'd given me a lot more examples of how she and her fellow teachers confronted and overcame these types of problems.
Overall, The Power of Their Ideas is a worthwhile book that tackles some big issues in education. Meier has some sacred cows to kick (e.g.Read more ›
Unfortunately, that skill started to not serve me so well toward the end of my college years nor in grad. school, much less in life itself. When I am confronted with a situation in which I must decide for myself what to do and how to do it, I tend to freeze. For all the alleged brain power my GPA and test scores indicate I should have, I’ve never been good at tapping into it. I’ve puzzled over that for years.
It’s only been since I’ve had kids myself that I’ve wondered about the role of education. I had always assumed I had gotten quite a wonderful education – my parents were always pleased with my teachers. But I started hearing a lot about standardized testing – that there’s too much of it, that too many high-stakes (including promotion and graduation, as well as teachers’ jobs and schools’ futures) riding on it. Although I’d guess that my kids would have no more trouble with standardized tests than I did, I never wanted them to be defined as a test score or have their whole educational career defined by such tests.
And as I learned more about tests, I learned more about education itself and came to question my own education. Maybe education isn’t something that happens with kids sitting silently in neat rows listening to the teacher and absorbing her knowledge. Maybe education itself shouldn’t be standardized. Maybe education is more about the school meeting the needs of the student, rather than conforming the student to the needs of the school.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had to purchase this book for a class, and surprisingly enough I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Easy to read and understand.Published on January 2, 2014 by Jillian
Meier is a progressive moderate; this text is a nice addition to an understanding of how Free School premises can be integrated into a public h.s.Published on March 6, 2011 by zep
Of all the books assigned in my Grad classes. I thought this one was the most relevant, compassionate, and humorous.Published on December 2, 2009 by Jacob Kramer
The Power of Their Ideas, by Deborah Meier. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995
Long before the current school restructuring movement was born, Deborah Meier's heart and soul... Read more
Deborah Meier writes about her experiences restructuring a school in Harlem in this book, The Power of Their Ideas. She created small schools within a large school. Read morePublished on August 19, 2004 by Samia
This is a terrific book. Meier writes with the wisdom of experience and a life spent struggling for the best education for all of her students. Read morePublished on August 27, 2002 by M. Knoester
I am a college student majoring in education and read this book for a class. I found the book very interesting and enlightening. Read morePublished on June 21, 2000