In this book by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, we find that the kind of learning that will define the 21st century will not take place in a classroom. It is happening all around us and it is powerful The growing digital network gives us nearly unlimited resources, while is connects us with others. Learning often takes place without books, teachers, or classrooms. Classrooms and teachers may not be obsolete, but the authors make a case that they must change.
Archive for the ‘Education Books’ Category
This book by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa draws on their extensive research. It shows that many undergraduates learn little or nothing when it comes to critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing ability. The main reasons are generally poor academic preparation prior to college, and low expectations and demands in college. Rather than close the gap between high and low performing students, a case can be made that colleges increase the disparity.
- Limited Learning on College Campuses
- by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa
- ©2011, University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois
- Summary by Douglas W. Green, EdD
- If you like this summary, buy the book.
Arum and Roksa
- Richard Arum is a professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. He is also director of the Education Research Program of the Social Science Research Council and the author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools. Josipa Roksa is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.
- The book addresses the question of how much undergraduates learn once they get to college. The answer here is not much. Richard and Josipa draw on their own research and many other sources to make their point. They find that a significant proportion of students do not improve when it comes to critical thinking, complex reasoning, or writing ability. This comes as no surprise to many who see students distracted by socializing and employment. They also see an institutional culture that puts undergraduate learning near the bottom of the priority list.
1. College Cultures and Student Learning
- Arum and Roksa cite the worry of middle-class parents over return on investment and concerns about quality by businesses as they look at college cultures that today feature more social activity and less time studying. Too many enter college with high ambitions and no clear plans for reaching them. They know little of their chosen occupations in terms of requirements of demands. They are essentially academically adrift. While study time is down to less than what they spent in high school, grades and progress toward degrees have seen little impact. Students preferentially enroll in classes where instructors grade leniently. For their part, faculty members allow students to get by with less effort. This brings better student evaluations and opens more time for research. Such evaluations are not good indicators of learning. Faculty are also rewarded for seeking external funding of which there is never enough at the expense of undergraduate attention. Administrators must also share the blame. An increase in student service positions has driven faculty percentage of professional staff down to 53%. At the same time, salaries of presidents, provosts, and deans has gone way up in spit of the fact that they are much less able to influence institutional climate than top executives in businesses.
Adapt: Why SUccess Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford offers an inspiring and innovative alternative to traditional top-down decision making. Tim deftly weaves together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics along with compelling stories of hard won lessons from the real world. He makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error to deal with problems both global, personal, and everything in between. Click at the bottom of any page to purchase this breakthrough handbook for surviving and prospering in an ever-shifting world.
This book by Joe Tye uses a fictional format to explain why organizational culture is so important and how you can get the people you lead to help you create the kind of culture you want. My summary deals with the key concepts, but you need the book to access the compelling story and valuable appendix. This would be a good read for your entire team to discuss.
Click here to see my summary of All Hands On Deck.
Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other(© 2011, Basic Books: New York, NY) is Sherry Turkle’s third book that explores our lives on the digital terrain. Sherry has conducted hundreds of interviews to gather her data. She explores how the technology that lets us do anything anywhere with anyone can drain us as we try to do everything everywhere and are always on call. She looks at how relentless connections lead to a new solitude and impacts our emotional lives. She also sees hope as people seek to sustain direct human connection.
Always On: How the iPhone Unlocked the Anything-Anytime-Anywhere Future and Locked Us In by Brian X. Chen (© 2011, Da Capo Press: Cambridge, MA), is an insightful look at technology’s all-in-one revolution and its consequences. Will we give more control to individual companies and sacrifice privacy and freedom in the process? This is the first book to take on the possible future that products like the iPhone may portend. Brian writes the regular Apple column for Wired Magazine. In order to write this book, Chen interviewed many of the top technology thinkers, innovators, and researchers.
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program has grown significantly since the mid 1990’s as policy makers have added courses for students who are for the most part not ready. In AP: A Critical Examination of the Advanced Placement Program, a new release from The Harvard Education Press, seventeen authors share their research. The main point is that an AP course for an unprepared student is at best a waste of time and resources. It is clear from this work that more effort needs to be directed to earlier grades rather than simply raising expectations at the top.
Click here to see the summary of this book.
APE: How To Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welsh (©2012) As the digital world has created a revolutionary opportunity for writers to become their own publishers, a new self-publishing infrastructure has emerged. This book offers a guide to this new publishing universe with details and inspiration. After you read this you are unlikely to let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t, wouldn’t, or couldn’t write a book. The APE in the title stands for Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur, and Guy and Shawn devote sections of this book to each part of the process. It makes for a great read and a better reference as you bring your book to life. Be sure to click the icon at the bottom of any page to support this stellar self-published effort.
Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa is a follow up to their landmark Academically Adrift that made the case for how many college students end up learning very little, end up unemployed or under employed, and living at home. Now they follow this same college cohort two years after graduation and see that many found a difficult transition to adulthood. Together these works should challenge students and colleges to rethink the aims, approaches, and achievements of higher education. Click here to read my summary of Academically Adrift.
Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa
- Richard is a professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. He is a senior fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the author of Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Authority in American Schools. Josipa Roksa is associate professor of sociology and education and associate director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Virginia.
1. The Study
- This book is based on research that tracks more than 1,600 students (emerging adults) through their senior year at twenty-five diverse four-year colleges and universities, and approximately 1,000 college graduates from this sample for two years following their graduation in 2009. They also did in-depth interviews with a subset of 80 graduates in 2011 in order to find how post-college outcomes were associated with collegiate experiences and academic performance. Like their previous study, they used the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) to measure critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication around the time of their graduation.
Ball or Bands: Football vs Music as an Educational and Community Investment by John Gerdy (©2014) uses research to support the notion that due to costs, injuries, its focus on elite male athletes, and a negative impact on school cultures, support for high school football can no longer be defended. He also makes a case for why music and the arts in general need more support. He comes at this topic as a musician and an athlete with a brief career in the NBA. Click at the bottom of any page to get copies for your board of education members, and be strong if you take on king football.
John R. Gerdy
- John is founder and executive director of Music for Everyone. A former all-American and professional basketball player, he served at the NCAA and as associate commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. He is author of Sports: The All-American Addiction and Air Ball: American Education’s Failed Experiment with Elite Athletics.
John’s Journey Through Sports and Music
- The first two chapters outline John’s background experiences in athletics and music. While his father was a physics teacher, he was also the head football coach. Much to his father’s disappointment, John chose basketball and went on to become the leading career scorer at Davidson College followed by a brief professional career. He then went on to get a PhD and work several jobs as a sports administrator. His music life started in eight grade where he quit the school chorus because the director wouldn’t do any Beatles songs (1971). In high school he picked up the guitar, and over time gradually learned percussion and saxophone. As he moved around, he looked for opportunities to play in pick up bands and perform in clubs.
- When his kids started school he volunteered to perform and teach, and even went so far as to develop a seven-week blues curriculum, which culminates in an assembly where children sing and play percussion to a blues song that they have written. John sees little difference between open mic and pick up basketball or other team sports. Each group is striving toward a common goal, which is to figure out where everyone’s talents can contribute.