Furthering the awareness campaign on the benefits of “collaborative, hands-on, interdisciplinary” schooling.
In the face of the current global recession, Harvard fellow and former Gates Foundation senior advisor Wagner (The Global Achievement Gap, 2008) believes one of the solutions is redirecting classroom emphasis toward more “college-ready” curriculums. The author, a father of three, advocates for more progressive skill building to better prepare students for life beyond the classroom. Wagner’s thesis derives its strength from expertly structured content. He focuses less on the problem (America’s lack of innovators) and more on a remedy supported by testimonials from an impressive array of young minds gainfully employed in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) or civic-minded entrepreneurships. Parents, academics and business leaders voice experiences as well. The story of Kirk Phelps, a high-school and college dropout who became part of the first iPhone team at Apple, is bolstered by his parents’ narration of their motivational child-rearing style. Wagner’s prognostications translate to solid advice on how early educational coaching and motivational mentorship can facilitate success in today’s competitive marketplace. The outcome, he writes, is a generation of young adults who feel passionate, empowered and motivated to excel beyond their own expectations. Though his tone remains mostly optimistic, Wagner admits that cultivating innovative, intellectual leaders isn’t a universal panacea, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The author also includes a multimedia experience: Quick Response (“QR”) codes, which, when captured by smart-phone technology, open links to web-based videos and material procured by collaborator Robert A. Compton.
A seminal analysis promising hope for the future through small wonders in the classroom.