"A rich, much-needed remedy for the standardized institutions that comprise too much of our school system today… ideal for teachers and parents intent on resurrecting and fostering students' inherent drive to learn…An essential resource."
-Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND
“Schools that Learn is a magnificent, grand book that pays equal attention to the small and the big picture - and what's more integrates them. There is no book on education change that comes close to Senge et al's sweeping and detailed treatment. Classroom, school, community, systems, citizenry---it's all there. The core message is stirring: what if we viewed schools as a means of shifting society for the better!"
-Michael Fullan, author of Change Leader and Learning Places
A new edition of the groundbreaking book that brings organizational learning and systems thinking into classrooms and schools, showing how to keep our nation’s educational system competitive in today’s world.
Revised and updated - with more than 100 pages of new material – for the first time since its initial publication in 2000 comes a new edition of the seminal work acclaimed as one of the best books ever written about education and schools.
A unique collaboration between the celebrated management thinker and Fifth Discipline author Peter Senge and a team of renowned educators and organizational change leaders, Schools that Learn describes how schools can adapt, grow, and change in the face of the demands and challenges of our society, and provides tools, techniques and references for bringing those aspirations to life.
The new revised and updated edition offers practical advice for overcoming the many challenges that face our communities and educational systems today. It shows teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members how to successfully use principles of organizational learning, including systems thinking and shared vision, to address the challenges that face our nation's schools. In a fast-changing world where school populations are increasingly diverse, children live in ever-more-complex social and media environments, standardized tests are applied as overly simplistic "quick fixes," and advances in science and technology continue to accelerate, the pressures on our educational system are inescapable. Schools That Learn offers a much-needed way to open dialogue about these problems – and provides pragmatic opportunities to transform school systems into learning organizations.
Drawing on observations and advice from more than 70 writers and experts on schools and education, this book features:
-Methods for implementing organizational learning and explanations of why they work
-Compelling stories and anecdotes from the “field” - classrooms, schools, and communities
-Charts, tables and diagrams to illustrate systems thinking and other practices
-Guiding principles for how to apply innovative practices in all types of school systems
-Individual exercises useful for both teachers and students
-Team exercises to foster communication within the classroom, school, or community group
-New essays on topics like educating for sustainability, systems thinking in the classroom, and “the great game of high school.”
-New recommendations for related books, articles, videotapes and web sites
Schools That Learn is the essential guide for anyone who cares about the future of education and keeping our nation’s schools competitive in our fast-changing world.
About the Author
PETER M. SENGE is the founding chairperson of the Society for Organizational Learning and a senior lecturer at MIT. He is the co-author of "The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, The Dance of Change," and "Schools That Learn "(part of the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook series)" "and has lectured extensively throughout the world. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Nelda Cambron-McCabe is a professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Miami University, Ohio. She was an advisory board member and a coordinator of the Danforth Foundation Forum for the American School Superintendent. Her recent publications include co-author with McCarthy and Thomas, Public School Law: Teachers' and Students' Rights 5th ed., (Needham, MA.; Allyn & Bacon, 2004) and co-author with Senge, Lucas, Smith, Dutton, and Kleiner, Schools That Learn (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Lucas is the superintendent of the Ho-ho-kus school system in New Jersey.
“Schools that Learn is a magnificent, grand book that pays equal attention to the small and the big picture - and what's more integrates them. There is no book on education change that comes close to Senge et al's sweeping and detailed treatment. Classroom, school, community, systems, citizenry---it's all there. The core message is stirring: what if we viewed schools as a means of shifting society for the better!
-Michael Fullan, author of Change Leader and Learning Places
"A rich, much-needed remedy for the standardized, assembly-line, industrial-age institutions that comprise too much of our school system today. Chock full of useful tools, ideas, and exercises, this book is ideal for the many teachers and parents who are intent on resurrecting and fostering students' inherent drive to learn. For educators working to reconnect learning with real life, SCHOOLS THAT LEARN is as essential resource."
-Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND
“The idea that schools themselves can and must learn is the most important idea in education and this is the classic and indispensable guide to how that happens.”
—David W. Orr, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College
"This book is an absolute feast of riches; its many stories and case examples prove once again that 'the solutions we need are already here' - solutions created by the caring, generosity and brilliance of everyday people working in education."
—Margaret J. Wheatley, author of Leadership and the New Science and many other books.
“This book is an essential chronicle of where our schools and communities are truly caring for our children. A much needed antidote to the assault on teachers and public education that dominates the news. A book of modern educational heroes and the thinking that is the foundation of their work.”
-Peter Block. author of Community: The Art of Belonging
"At a time when school reform has become synonymous with ill-conceived initiatives, it is refreshing to encounter a book that offers hopeful ideas, grounded in experience."
-Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education at New York University and author of The Life and Death of The American School System
“Senge, author of the best-selling The Fifth Discipline, has written a highly readable companion book directly focused on education...Schools that Learn is a resource book, and as such includes numerous exercises, techniques, and stories designed to help the people who work with and within schools learn how to develop their capacity to find solutions to the problems that thwart improvement...Policymakers at all levels, school principals, teachers, parents, and students can benefit from the ideas, stories of inspiration, and many tools that are included. In Schools that Learn, Senge complexifies and scaffolds the conversation regarding what building capacity looks like in schools, and offers practical suggestions for how to begin to do it.”
–Harvard Educational Review
Acclaim for the original edition:
"Today, more than ever, all the forces within society must join together to prepare our children to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world. Schools That Learn is an important resource for all those wanting to tackle the challenge of integrating family, school, faith community, and policymakers into one coalition on behalf of children."
--Dr. James P. Comer, Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center, Associate Dean, Yale School of Medicine
"I don't know of a country that is happy with its educational system. That is because most schools are crafted for the mass production ethic of industrial society. Changing this obsolete state of affairs is the best investment that a government or community can make. This book can help; it shows how schools can reorient themselves to emphasize humanity, adventure, entrepreneurship, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and experimentation, instead of rote learning."
--Kenichi Ohmae, author of The Mind of the Strategist and The Invisible Continent
"I plan to read long passages to my daughter. Whenever I think about the world in which she (and her children) will grow up, the educational system seems to be the locus of both hope and despair. Reading this book is like opening the curtains and letting in rays of hope, illuminating an entire, systemic, detailed map for change."
--Howard Rheingold, author, The Virtual Community
What Educators and Students Say About How Our Schools Work:
"It took us three years to define the standards we expected of students, because we engaged the community from the beginning. It mattered to us that [the people of Memphis] own the standards."
--1999 U.S. Superintendent of the Year Gerry House
"Ordinarily, teachers are taught to work as individuals, so staff development has to help them learn to work together. And it needs to be an ongoing process, with enough time to learn new ways of teaching, to develop esprit de corps, and to unlearn old habits."
--Ed Joyner, executive director of the Yale School Development Program
"We work harder than kids in other schools. But we have more fun doing it. All the kids have different rates of learning, so the teachers keep up different rates of training."
--Students at a "five disciplines" -oriented middle school in Chelmsford, Massachusetts