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Education Reform: A Self-Scrutinizing Memoir

304 pages8 hours


Professor Sarason candidly confronts his “errors of omission and commission, mistakes, and emphases” in his half-century involvement in educational reform. No other major figure in this arena has made public such a searching self-critique.

Sharing his thoughts about the future of education, Sarason discusses his thinking on: charter schools, productive learning, motivation, high-stakes testing, the need for teachers to relate differently to each other and to parents, the importance of working through change, and the mistaken idea that we can clone reforms. Although written before the September 11th World Trade Center tragedy, the last chapter of this book is extraordinarily relevant to the subsequent national importance of societal values and responsible citizenship.

Although this is a deliberately personally revealing book, Sarason’s self-scrutiny will be stimulating and invaluable to anyone interested in reform as concept, action, and values. This is a book that deserves the label courageous.

“A tour-de-force which reveals not only Sarason’s in-depth knowledge of virtually all contemporary reform movements but also his incorruptible personal integrity. This book is a must-read for all would-be reformers, and especially for those based in colleges and universities.”
Dennis Shirley, Lynch School of Education at Boston College

“Seymour Sarason takes us on an intellectual journey through his life’s work, dedicated to understanding schools and their resistance to change. By reflecting out loud on his own thinking, he brings us to a higher level of insight and understanding. In typical Sarason fashion, he forces readers who are pushing for closer collaborations between researchers and practitioners to face the formidable challenges of bridging these two cultures.”
Deborah J. Stipek, School of Education, Stanford University

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