"Faces of Learning"--a new book and what it means
Bottom line, if you want to give a gift to a teacher, this book is a good option. Itâ€™s also a good choice for anyone with a general interest in improving education.
â€śFaces of Learningâ€ť consists of statements by 50 teachers, thinkers, and community leaders. It is a buffet of opinions and personal anecdotes. The book, published by Wiley, was put together by Sam Chaltain, an education crusader. You can read about Sam and his activities on facesoflearning.net.
I am, by the way, in the book, much to my surprise. I submitted a short, contrarian statement indirectly rejecting the notion of â€ślearning styles.â€ť This theory is a fad now in public schools, so I think it speaks well of Sam Chaltain that he put me in his book.
â€śFaces of Learningâ€ť indicates an important trend--individual citizens trying to reform public education from the outside. My take on the Education Establishment is that these people are ideologues, so we canâ€™t always expect them to find the best ideas. But when public opinion turns against this or that method, the Education Establishment does change gears.
So I urge everyone to find a crusade they like and support it, or start your own.
Michelle Rhee, after leaving the Washington, DC school system, started a site called StudentsFirst.org, which is trying to mobilize public opinion for her ideas on reform. Sam Chaltainâ€™s crusade is mainstream, and seeking to forge a new consensus. My work on Improve-Education.org tries to explain the thinking behind the policy decisions.
Point is, there are many crusades out there; and probably one is compatible with your own instincts.