Ted Spear’s new book — Education Reimagined: The Schools Our Children Need — argues that we need to transform schools, first by committing to a deeper and richer core purpose of education, and then by having the courage to re-engineer the day-to-day structural elements of school to deliver on that purpose. It also proposes that a strong partnership between informed parents and passionate educators is absolutely essential to the project of changing schools for the better.
The work begins with a human interest story about starting a school from the ground up, and then quickly moves to an exploration of the educational landscape as a whole. It describes the transition from traditional to contemporary schooling; suggests a different way of looking at educational technology; includes a pivotal critique of student assessment practices; examines the changing role of teachers and principals; and critically surveys a number of structural innovations that are currently taking place in outlier schools. Dr. Spear concludes with a snapshot of what a re-engineered high school might look like and two chapters for educators and parents about how to move forward.
The book is for parents who want something better for their kids out of our schools, and for world-weary and idealistic educators who know something is not quite right with the current state of affairs, but cannot quite put their finger on the problem. For parents, it lifts the veil on the challenges and possibilities of contemporary education and recruits them as allies in improving schools. For educators, it shows them the structural changes they can make that will untie their hands to follow their deepest intuitions what they know to be central and important about grade school education.
It is a book that will change the way we think about schools.