Revised and Updated edition
“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
First published in 2000, SCHOOLS THAT LEARN introduced the groundbreaking Fifth Discipline organizational principles to the world of education. This comprehensive revision addresses the increasing challenges facing our educational system and presents practical advice on how schools can use the principles of organizational learning to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.
Few would argue that schools today are in trouble. In the age of “No Child Left Behind,” when students, teachers, parents, and school boards are weighed down by increasing pressures, standardized tests are being used as “quick fixes,” school violence is growing, advances in science and technology threaten to outpace teachers’ effectiveness, and the average tenure of a school district superintendent is less than three years, SCHOOLS THAT LEARN offers much-needed advice on how we can overcome these persistent problems that threaten our educational system.
Drawing upon experience and advice from prominent educators, teachers, principals, business and community leaders, parents, and students from across the country, the authors offer clear guidelines for how to implement the principles of organizational learning in the classroom, and explain why these practices work. The book features stories and anecdotes from the classroom and the community; charts, tables and diagrams to illustrate learning principles; individual and team exercises for both educators and students; and recommendations for related books, articles, Web sites, and other resources. This updated and revised edition of a decisive and influential work is invaluable for everyone involved in a dialogue about how to better educate our children in the twenty-first century.
"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
Peter Senge was named as one of the 24 people who had “the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years” by the Journal of Business Strategy
PETER SENGE, senior lecturer at MIT and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), is the author or co-author of several bestselling books, including The Fifth Discipline, Schools That Learn, and Presence.
BRYAN SMITH, coauthor with Senge of The Dance of Change and two other Fifth Discipline fieldbooks, is a member of the faculty at York University’s Sustainable Enterprise Academy, and president of Broad Reach Innovations, Inc.
NINA KRUSCHWITZ, manager of the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook Project, is the editor of Reflections: The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change.
JOE LAUR and SARA SCHLEY co-founded the SoL Sustainability Consortium in 1998; Joe is vice president of content for Greenopolis.com, and Sara is a mentor for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.