Any educator worth their salt has to get their hands on everything Carl Bereiter and Marlene Scardamalia (they are partners) have written. Education and Mind in the Knowledge Age and Surpassing Ourselves are absolute musts. There are also plenty of free pdfs if you go to Googlescholar.com and search for their names.

Next, Kieran Egan. You could start with The Future of Education; it summarizes a lot of his work from the 90s. His big book is The Educated Mind. Also, read his Learning in Depth for a simple but revolutionary curricular innovation that I implemented last year. It’s really transformative; at my school I call it “The Expert Program.” The students are individually assigned a big topic like birds or trees (nature works best, for reasons that will become apparent if you read his book.) and study it on their own until they graduate. In his vision you would begin with elementary school, year 1. Imagine the power a student would have, the deep knowledge of their topic, the appreciation for how knowledge itself moves, is formed, changes. I get my kids much later, in the first year of high school, but the results are still astonishing. I’ll write more later about my implementation of Egan’s idea, and show examples of the students’ work.

 

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