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Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Educationby Terry Moe
Synopses & Reviews
Praise for Liberating Learning
"Moe and Chubb have delivered a truly stunning book, rich with the prospect of how technology is already revolutionizing learning in communities from Midland, Pennsylvania to Gurgaon, India. At the same time, this is a sobering telling of the realpolitik of education, a battle in which the status quo is well defended. But most of all, this book is a call to action, a call to unleash the power of technological innovation to create an education system worthy of our aspirations and our childrens' dreams." —Ted Mitchell, CEO of the New Schools Venture Fund
"As long as we continue to educate students without regard for the way the real world works, we will continue to limit their choices. In Liberating Learning, Terry Moe and John Chubb push us to ask the questions we should be asking, to have the hard conversations about how far technology can go to advance student achievement in this country." —Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of Education for the Washington, D.C. schools
"A brilliant analysis of how technology is destined to transform America's schools for the better: not simply by generating new ways of learning, but also—and surprisingly—by unleashing forces that weaken its political opponents and open up the political process to educational change. A provocative, entirely novel vision of the future of American education." —Rick Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"Terry Moe and John Chubb, two long-time, astute observers of educational reform, see technology as the way to reverse decades of failed efforts. Technology will facilitate significantly more individualized student learning—and perhaps most importantly, technology will make it harder and harder for the entrenched adult interests to block the reforms that are right for our kids. This is a provocative, informative and, ultimately, optimistic read, something we badly need in public education." —Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City schools
"In this follow up to the authors' Politics, Markets, and American Schools, Moe and Chubb 'think of public education not as the current institution, but in terms of its vital responsibility,' in which case 'technology promises to be a very good thing.' When focused on this thesis, the Hoover Institution associates (Moe is a political science professor, Chubb founded an education consulting group) make a consistently intriguing case-not just for computers in the classroom, but for a full-scale system revamp. Unfortunately, they spend much time blaming teachers and teachers' unions for standing in the way, and fail repeatedly to address the realities of teaching. Many of the authors' assumptions will strike elementary educators as plainly wrong; for example, the idea that 'computer-based approaches... simply require far fewer teachers per student' ignores the fact that teenagers can rarely be counted on to do what they're asked. It's also highly unlikely that parental demand will bring about a merit pay system; any school teacher will tell you that parental disinterest or neglect is rampant. Finally, and most distressingly, Moe and Chubb seem oblivious to the challenges poverty presents. Unfortunately, shallow thinking and a seeming lack of real classroom experience short circuit an important topic." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Technology can revolutionize schools--if we let it--according to education experts Moe and Chubb, who challenge teachers to make much-needed changes, or be left in the dust of the global economy.
"Technology has transformed all aspects of our everyday lives. From online banking to social networking, we communicate, connect, and consume in ways radically different from the past. Yet, the average classroom is not that different from the classroom of fifty years ago."
What's wrong with this picture? Terry M. Moe and John E. Chubb, two thought leaders on education reform, tell a dramatic story about the pitched battle to bring about real change and improvement to America's schools—a battle that pits the innovative forces of technology against the entrenched interests that powerfully protect the educational status quo.
The timing could not be more critical, as the United States struggles to keep pace with a world economy that places a growing premium on education. Right now, technology has a tremendous capacity to promote learning—for all students, regardless of background or neighborhood—by opening up a dazzling array of new opportunities that can literally customize education to the needs, schedules, styles, and interests of each student. But it is being blocked in the political process.
Controversial and compelling, Liberating Learning maps out a dynamic vision of the nation's educational future, showing how the ideas and innovations of technology will ultimately transform the public schools to the great benefit of the nation and its children—and how learning will be liberated from the special interests, and from the dead hand of the past.
Technology can revolutionize schools ??? if we let it
Imagine a cyber-school in an old steel mill where students from distant cities log in to learn. Or a Midwest charter school with state-of-the-art learning labs, where kids use laptops to manage their work. Here, learning happens across time zones, teachers are entrepreneurs, and innovation is commonplace. But for the majority of schools, this reality is blocked by politics-as-usual and untouchables such as teachers' unions. The authors challenge us to make much-needed changes–or be left in the dust of the global economy.
Terry M. Moe (Stanford, CA) is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and professor of political science at Stanford University. John E. Chubb (Short Hills, NJ), formerly senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, is now Managing Director of ???The Edison Learning Institute.
About the Author
Terry M.Moe is the William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, a senior fellow atthe Hoover Institution, and a member of Hoover's Koret Task Force on K-12 Education.
John E. Chubb is founder and Chief Development Officer of EdisonLearning, which partners with school districts and charter schools nationwide to improve student achievement. Dr. Chubb is also a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education.
Moe and Chubb are the coauthors of Politics, Markets, and America's Schools.
Table of Contents
1. The Seeds of Change.
2. The Need for Achievement.
3. The Politics of Blocking.
4. Technology on All Fronts.
5. The Resistance.
6. A New Era.
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