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by Deborah Meier
List Price: $31.49 Amazon.com:N/A
Teaching the lessons of New York's most famous public school, Deborah Meier provides a widely acclaimed vision for the future of public education.
Posted by M. Knoester on 08/28/2002
Easy enjoyable reading with powerful ideas. Meier gets one to think, as she must do for those who attend her schools. She engages you in her journey, without being afraid to show you where she has run into difficulties and where she sees no simple answers.
All in all this is a wonderful book for anyone who is interested in exploring what is happening and could happen with public eduction in this country.
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on 03/20/1998
There is surprisingly little in this book which is new, innovative, or shocking. Indeed, much of what Meier has to say is mere common sense (like small schools and more proportionate teacher/student ratios work better). However,Meier puts common-sense notions in a way that grounds them in analogy and reality; one can't help but laugh on one page and growl on the next. Further, it is important to remember how much earlier Meier herself recognized and implemented these ideas than have other educators: while many of the ideas that she suggests are accepted, commonplace, and may be in vogue today, they were revolutionary when she began at Central Park East. The consequence of her early action is that the reader is privy to the RESULTS of many of the experimental ideas that other schools are just now begining to implement.
Furthermore, Meier specifically choses certain points that are currently in contention, and omits others; there is a definite pattern to her theory. You won't find mention of "gifted and talented" programs or even the necessity of monetary resources here (two ideas that are consistently part of heated debates regarding education reform); neither of these, Meier suggests through their omission, matter as much as the ideas she offers up, especially her "five habits of mind".
And as the statistics from her schools would show, she is on to something. Indeed, the only thing keeping this book from being rated a "10" is its lack of hard facts regarding her actual success. Meier is clearly writing theory, and avoids dry facts which, I think, would have added a degree of credibility to the book for those who don't know how credible an educator Meier is.
As an educator who has worked at Meier's newest Boston school, let me set those folks at ease: this stuff works.
Posted by Michael Klonsky on 03/10/2008