In the age of the Internet, we educate people much as we did during the Industrial Revolution. We educate them for a world that no longer exists, instilling values antithetical to those of a free, 21st century democracy. Worst of all, too many schools extinguish the very creativity and joy they ought to nourish.
In Turning Learning Right Side Up, legendary systems scientist Dr. Russell Ackoff and "in-the-trenches" education innovator Daniel Greenberg offer a radically new path forward. In the year's most provocative conversation, they take on the very deepest questions about education: What should be its true purpose? Do classrooms make sense anymore? What should individuals contribute to their own education? Are yesterday's distinctions between subjects--and between the arts and sciences--still meaningful? What would the ideal lifelong education look like--at K-12, in universities, in the workplace, and beyond?
Ackoff and Greenberg each have experience making radical change work--successfully. Here, they combine deep idealism with a relentless focus on the real world--and arrive at solutions that are profoundly sensible and powerfully compelling.
Why today's educational system fails--and why superficial reforms won't help
The questions politicians won't ask--and the answers they don't want to hear
How do people learn--and why do they choose to learn?
Creating schools that reflect what we know about learning
In a 21st century democracy, what values must we nurture?
...and why aren't we nurturing them?
How can tomorrow's "ideal schools" be operated and funded?
A plan that cuts through political gridlock and can actually work
Beyond schools: building a society of passionate lifelong learners
Learning from childhood to college to workplace through retirement
Reinventing Learning for the Next Century: How We Can, and Why We Must
An extraordinary conversation about the very deepest questions...
Today, what is education for?
Where should it take place? How? When?
What is the ideal school?
The ideal lifelong learning experience?
Who should be in charge of education?
And who pays for it all?
Over the past 150 years, virtually everything has changed...except education. Schools were designed as factories, to train factory workers. The factories are gone, but the schools haven't changed. It's time for us to return to first principles...or formulate new first principles...and reimagine education from the ground up.
In Turning Learning Right Side Up, two of this generation's most provocative thinkers--and practical doers--have done just that. They draw on the latest scientific research, the most enduring human wisdom, and their unique lifelong personal experiences transforming institutions that resist change. And, along the way, they offer a powerful blueprint for a thriving society of passionate lifelong learners.
Russell L. Ackoff is Anheuser Busch Professor Emeritus of management science at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has authored over 20 books and 250 articles, and has conducted research for more than 300 corporations and government agencies. His most recent books include Idealized Design: Creating an Organization's Future (Wharton School Publishing).
Daniel Greenberg is a founding member of the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Massachusetts. His books include Free at Last, Kingdom of Childhood,A Clearer View, The Pursuit of Happiness,Legacy of Trust, Words in Creation, A New Look at Schools, and Education in America.
About the Authors ix
Preface: Why, and How, This Book Was Written xii
Introduction: What Education Is About xiii
Part 1: Where Today's Educational System Fails 1
Chapter 1: Learning and Teaching 3
Chapter 2: The Classroom Environment 23
Chapter 3: Subjects and Disciplines 39
Chapter 4: The New World 49
Chapter 5: Antidemocratic Schooling 65
Chapter 6: Factors That Resist Change 71
Part 2: Factors That Contribute to Education 77
Chapter 7: The Environment a Developed Society Provides for Individual Realization 79
Chapter 8: The Special Demands the Environment of a Liberal Democracy Places on Individual Realization 91
Chapter 9: What Individuals Contribute to Their Own Education 99
Chapter 10: The Place of Arts 107
Part 3: Envisioning Ideal Lifelong Education 119
Chapter 11: Why, and How, We Should Be Envisioning an Ideal Educational Environment 121
Chapter 12: The Preschool Years 125
Chapter 13: A New Look at Schools K-12 135
Chapter 14: The College and University Experience 139
Chapter 15: Education and the Working Life 147
Chapter 16: Taking "Retire" Out of Retirement 151
Part 4: Excursus: Funding Ideal Schools 153
Appendix: Sudbury Valley School 159