“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
PETER SENGE is a senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the founding chair of The Society for Organizational Learning. A renowned pioneer, theorist, and writer in the field of management innovation, he is the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization.
In 2008 the Wall Street Journal named Dr. Senge among the top 20 most influential business thinkers. The Journal of Business Strategy has named him as one of the 24 people who had the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years. The Financial Times named him as one of the world’s “top management gurus,” and Business Week has rated him as one of The Top (ten) Management Gurus.
BRYAN SMITH is an internationally recognized author, speaker and consultant on leadership development, vision-based planning and organizational learning. Prior to founding Broad Reach Innovations, Bryan was a Senior Partner for eighteen years at Innovation Associates, the firm that pioneered the field of Organizational Learning. He has worked with the UN Foundation, the UN Office of the Secretary-General, and many other education, governmental, non-profit and business organizations worldwide. He is a founding faculty member for the Sustainable Enterprise Academy at York University in Toronto.
NELDA CAMBRON-MCCABE is a professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Miami University (Ohio), and a nationally known expert on school reform and leadership. She is co-author of The Superintendant’s Fieldbook (2005) and co-author of Public School Law: Teachers’ and Students’ Rights 6th ed.(2009). Since 2007, Dr. Cambron-McCabe has worked with the National Superintendents Roundtable as its members initiated educational reform in their school districts. Many of their experiences appear in Schools That Learn.
TIMOTHY LUCAS is a founding member and lead consultant for The Institute for the Future of Learning, a non-profit group focused on creating sustainable 21st century learning environments, and is an adjunct professor at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. He has been involved with public education for the past 35 years, having taught elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. He has been a middle school vice principal, elementary principal, curriculum director, Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent of Schools.
JANIS DUTTON is an education writer, consultant, director of a peace and justice center,and community activist. She has used the learning organization principles as an elected official and in a variety of community conversations, and leadership and grass-roots initiatives.
ART KLEINER is the editor-in-chief of strategy+business, the award-winning management magazine published by Booz & Company. Kleiner is also a writer, lecturer and commentator, and author of The Age of Heretics: A History of the Radical Thinkers Who Reinvented Corporate Management and Who Really Matters: The Core Group Theory of Power, Privilege, and Success.
This book is part of the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook series, which also includes The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook and The Dance of Change (coauthored by Senge, Smith, Kleiner, and others.) Senge and Smith are also coauthors of The Necessary Revolution.