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What is the purpose of education? What kind of people do we want our children to grow up to be? How can we design schools so that students will acquire the skills they'll need to live fulfilled and productive lives? These are just a few of the questions that renowned educator Dennis Littky explores in The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business. The schools Littky has What is the purpose of education? What kind of people do we want our children to grow up to be? How can we design schools so that students will acquire the skills they'll need to live fulfilled and productive lives? These are just a few of the questions that renowned educator Dennis Littky explores in The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business. The schools Littky has created and led over the past 35 years are models for reformers everywhere: small, public schools where the curriculum is rich and meaningful, expectations are high, student progress is measured against real-world standards, and families and communities are actively engaged in the educational process. This book is for both big E and small e educators: * For principals and district administrators who want to change the way schools are run. * For teachers who want students to learn passionately. * For college admissions officers who want diverse applicants with real-world learning experiences. * For business leaders who want a motivated and talented workforce. * For parents who want their children to be prepared for college and for life. * For students who want to take control over their learning . . . and want a school that is interesting, safe, respectful, and fun. * For anyone who cares about kids. Here, you'll find a moving account of just what is possible in education, with many of the examples drawn from the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (The Met) in Providence, Rhode Island--a diverse public high school with the highest rates of attendance and college acceptance in the state. The Met exemplifies personalized learning, one student at a time. The Big Picture is a book to reenergize educators, inspire teachers in training, and start a new conversation about kids and schools, what we want for both, and how to make it happen.


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What is the purpose of education? What kind of people do we want our children to grow up to be? How can we design schools so that students will acquire the skills they'll need to live fulfilled and productive lives? These are just a few of the questions that renowned educator Dennis Littky explores in The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business. The schools Littky has What is the purpose of education? What kind of people do we want our children to grow up to be? How can we design schools so that students will acquire the skills they'll need to live fulfilled and productive lives? These are just a few of the questions that renowned educator Dennis Littky explores in The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business. The schools Littky has created and led over the past 35 years are models for reformers everywhere: small, public schools where the curriculum is rich and meaningful, expectations are high, student progress is measured against real-world standards, and families and communities are actively engaged in the educational process. This book is for both big E and small e educators: * For principals and district administrators who want to change the way schools are run. * For teachers who want students to learn passionately. * For college admissions officers who want diverse applicants with real-world learning experiences. * For business leaders who want a motivated and talented workforce. * For parents who want their children to be prepared for college and for life. * For students who want to take control over their learning . . . and want a school that is interesting, safe, respectful, and fun. * For anyone who cares about kids. Here, you'll find a moving account of just what is possible in education, with many of the examples drawn from the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (The Met) in Providence, Rhode Island--a diverse public high school with the highest rates of attendance and college acceptance in the state. The Met exemplifies personalized learning, one student at a time. The Big Picture is a book to reenergize educators, inspire teachers in training, and start a new conversation about kids and schools, what we want for both, and how to make it happen.

30 review for The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hesham Khaled

    الكتاب أنصح بيه كل أب وأم . . وكل مدرس في الوجود. تجربة دينس ليتكي مثيرة تشبه الأفلام . . مدرسة فقيرة لطلبة من عائلات فقيرة والمدرسة فاشلة . . الراجل فلب نظام المدرسة خالص . . مبقاش فيه امتحانات . . طريقة التعليم أتغير تماما . . أعتمد على أسلوب مجموعات من الطلبة بتختار أهتمامتها . . وبيتعلموا كل حاجة خاصة بمجال أهتمامهم في كل فروع المعرفة . . الحكومة رفضت أن ميكنش فيه أمتحانات . . الطلبة دخلت الأمتحانات وحققوا درجات مبهرة . . بعد كده كون مدرسة خاصة بيه للناس الفقراء ولكنها بتختار الطلبة بناء على الكتاب أنصح بيه كل أب وأم . . وكل مدرس في الوجود. تجربة دينس ليتكي مثيرة تشبه الأفلام . . مدرسة فقيرة لطلبة من عائلات فقيرة والمدرسة فاشلة . . الراجل فلب نظام المدرسة خالص . . مبقاش فيه امتحانات . . طريقة التعليم أتغير تماما . . أعتمد على أسلوب مجموعات من الطلبة بتختار أهتمامتها . . وبيتعلموا كل حاجة خاصة بمجال أهتمامهم في كل فروع المعرفة . . الحكومة رفضت أن ميكنش فيه أمتحانات . . الطلبة دخلت الأمتحانات وحققوا درجات مبهرة . . بعد كده كون مدرسة خاصة بيه للناس الفقراء ولكنها بتختار الطلبة بناء على شغفهم بالعلم والمعرفة مش بناء على الفلوس. . كون مدارس أنتشرت في كل الولاياتت. طبعا ليه كلام عن تطوير النظم التعليمية والتعليم الذاتي وجدوى التعليم المتبع في الأيام دي وغير ذلك كثير!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Ford

    Picked this up from my professor with not-so-high expectations, but I am already loving this book and the ideas behind the "Big Picture" schools the author discusses. It makes me want to go work for one of them... Picked this up from my professor with not-so-high expectations, but I am already loving this book and the ideas behind the "Big Picture" schools the author discusses. It makes me want to go work for one of them...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura De Palma

    Read this book in Los Angeles in 2005 as a founding member of a "Big Picture" project-based high school. Digging it back out. Interested in starting my own school in Detroit. To progressive educators - get at me if you are interested. Read this book in Los Angeles in 2005 as a founding member of a "Big Picture" project-based high school. Digging it back out. Interested in starting my own school in Detroit. To progressive educators - get at me if you are interested.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Interesting read and concepts with ideas on how to change education. I liked some of his concepts but didn't feel that many of his ideas were feasible with the public schools in my area and wouldn't work unless a school was much smaller. Our high school has 3,300 students, the schools he described had 100-300 or so. There is a big difference in what you can do with 100 students vs. 3,000. I also finished the book wanting more description of how the Met was set up. I got the gist of it by the end Interesting read and concepts with ideas on how to change education. I liked some of his concepts but didn't feel that many of his ideas were feasible with the public schools in my area and wouldn't work unless a school was much smaller. Our high school has 3,300 students, the schools he described had 100-300 or so. There is a big difference in what you can do with 100 students vs. 3,000. I also finished the book wanting more description of how the Met was set up. I got the gist of it by the end, project based learning, mentorships outside of school, counseling groups, exhibitions with parents, no bells but there wasn't a clear description of what a typical day was for a student in one spot. I do agree that we can each look at what we have control over in education and see how we can improve it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas

    I have to start by saying I am a huge admirer of the Met School and the work Dennis LIttky has done. IN this book, as the founder of the Met Schools, he shares his thought on education and describes his school. However, I was a bit disappointed with the book. I found the book to be a bit of a combination between his platitudes of what should be and testimonials from students, parents etc. about how great his schools have been. A much better description of the work of the school can be found in " I have to start by saying I am a huge admirer of the Met School and the work Dennis LIttky has done. IN this book, as the founder of the Met Schools, he shares his thought on education and describes his school. However, I was a bit disappointed with the book. I found the book to be a bit of a combination between his platitudes of what should be and testimonials from students, parents etc. about how great his schools have been. A much better description of the work of the school can be found in "One Kid at a Time: Big Lessons from a Small School" by Eliot Levine.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    If you care at all about education, read this book. It would make for a great book discussion with other educators, parents, and students.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gerald Regep

    I have strong praise for Dennis Littky and what he has managed to create and accomplish in the field of education. His Met Schools are structured in ways that really promote exceptional learning students and promotes community involvement from teachers, families, and parents. I was motivated to read this book from a colleague who thought it would be good reading for an educator or someone interested in doing education policy. I wanted to read about specific structural concepts that Littky employ I have strong praise for Dennis Littky and what he has managed to create and accomplish in the field of education. His Met Schools are structured in ways that really promote exceptional learning students and promotes community involvement from teachers, families, and parents. I was motivated to read this book from a colleague who thought it would be good reading for an educator or someone interested in doing education policy. I wanted to read about specific structural concepts that Littky employed at his schools. I found little of that. The book is mainly his education related manifesto and the ideas and values that should underlay all schools. It's mostly philosophical and abstract notions of the ideal education model with little substance. It's a good read for someone new to education, but for someone looking for more concrete structural reform in education this is not the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robert Ruddy

    I want to be Dennis Littky.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Álvaro Francisco Fleith

    Everyone should read, show what really matter on education.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    A great read anyone interested in the topic of schools, teaching, impacting learning. We all have a role to play in improving education for students. Inspirational and insightful. Read it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul Reynolds

    Thought provoking book that highlights a school that underwent a transformation from ground up - with tremendous results. If we move to a model that is student-at-center/teacher-at-periphery within a distributed learning community (one that, as Chris Dede states would, "enable a shift from the traditional transfer and assimilation of information to the creation, sharing and mastery of knowledge."), the teacher has TIME to take on the mentoring role. Educators would no longer have to scramble dai Thought provoking book that highlights a school that underwent a transformation from ground up - with tremendous results. If we move to a model that is student-at-center/teacher-at-periphery within a distributed learning community (one that, as Chris Dede states would, "enable a shift from the traditional transfer and assimilation of information to the creation, sharing and mastery of knowledge."), the teacher has TIME to take on the mentoring role. Educators would no longer have to scramble daily to be the fully-stocked "information vending machine" - rapidly dispensing knowledge to "cover" content standards/requirements - instead they could focus time and energy on knowing their learners. It is interesting to note that Dennis Littky (The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's Business) calls his teachers at his acclaimed Met School in Rhode Island "advisors" who have now assumed a very non-traditional, but highly effective role in the learning process: The goal is to create motivated learners--not specialists in specific fields. We emphasize internships because students learn best when they are deeply engaged in real world projects, and because their lifelong success as workers and citizens depends on developing a passion for learning. The Met is strikingly different from most schools. Students study fewer topics but in far more depth, and they work closely with adults inside and outside the school. Instead of taking tests, they give public exhibitions of what they've learned. And instead of grades, they receive detailed narratives written by teachers. Each student's learning team--teacher, parents, and internship mentor--meets with the student quarterly to assess progress and plan upcoming learning activities. Relationships are the Met's foundation. A teacher and 14 students form a tightly knit group that stays together for four years. Teachers know each student deeply and have time to help with even the toughest academic and personal problems. (Washor/Littky, One Student at a Time, 2002) That Littky is already proving that it works is very exciting and is beginning to provide the data required for the conservative/traditionalist contingency to examine this "one student at a time" approach, which (according to Littky) costs no more than traditional education. Here's the 2004/05 data from The Met schools: Graduation Rate: 94.6% Graduation Rate (one of the highest in the state) The state average is 81.3% and the Providence average is 54% for the city's three largest high schools. Attendance Rate: 92.1% Attendance Rate The state average is 89.8% and the Providence average is 80% for the city's three largest high schools #1 in the state Teacher Availability (academic) The Met: 76% High School - State Average: 46% % of students who feel they can talk to a teacher about academic issues #1 in the state Teacher Availability (personal) The Met: 63% High School State Average: 18% % of students who feel they can talk to a teacher about personal or family problems For four of the past five years, at least one Met graduate has won the prestigious and highly competitive Gates' Millennium Scholarship (full tuition for six years of higher education). In spring of 2005, two Met seniors were named Gates' scholars. But to scale this model will require a fundamental shift in focus - from the standardized test to the learner. From teacher as "dispenser & tester of knowledge" to "mentor for learners" - and cultivating a learning community (both F2F and virtual) where a partnership of mentorship (internship providers, parents, informal educators) can support each learner as a unique individual whose needs are aggressively/proactively customized & personalized. The Zone of Mentoring Development (ZMD) is within our reach. Now we need the collective will to move there permanently. Good link for overview of THE MET - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgb8Co...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Charlene Ludwig

    In my evaluation essay about Dennis Littky's book The Big Picture: Education is Everyone Business, he describes the three trends in education reform and how he created a student centered school in Providence Rhode Island. He believes that you have to teach students using the "one student at a time" philosophy not the "one size fits all" approach of other reforms. In an attempt to show you more about Dennis’s philosophy I will describe the trends and how each has tried to improve the failing educ In my evaluation essay about Dennis Littky's book The Big Picture: Education is Everyone Business, he describes the three trends in education reform and how he created a student centered school in Providence Rhode Island. He believes that you have to teach students using the "one student at a time" philosophy not the "one size fits all" approach of other reforms. In an attempt to show you more about Dennis’s philosophy I will describe the trends and how each has tried to improve the failing education system. In 1995 Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor were given an opportunity to change how we education students and have successfully accomplished that exact goal. He talked about the No Child Left Behind Act and how it tried to standardize the education system. The effects of this reform actually caused more students to drop out of school. Then reformers tried the comprehensive or whole school reform another attempt to put a band aid on the failing education system. Dennis Littky in his book describes the student-centered or “One Student at a Time” approach which has reformed the education system and is the best kept secret in education reform. I agree with Dennis on the fact that we have to get rid of the “one size fits all” standardized testing and give students the real world approach to success. We are all different and learn in different ways so why do we keep trying to teach everyone the same way. The time is now for change and Dennis Littky has successfully achieved education reform.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve Tla

    Page 34 for the Robert Reich quote pages 154 (Grades or Narratives?) and pages 162 (tests or exhibitions?) page 66-70 about small schools. What other sections are worth mentioning ? Photocopy page 1 and post it on the doorway. I can't emphasize the need to keep this book circulating. I've given it to 27 parents and 8 principals. I buy the book used form Amazon... Over 40,000 copies were printed in 2004 and sent to members of ASCD, the association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. On the t Page 34 for the Robert Reich quote pages 154 (Grades or Narratives?) and pages 162 (tests or exhibitions?) page 66-70 about small schools. What other sections are worth mentioning ? Photocopy page 1 and post it on the doorway. I can't emphasize the need to keep this book circulating. I've given it to 27 parents and 8 principals. I buy the book used form Amazon... Over 40,000 copies were printed in 2004 and sent to members of ASCD, the association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. On the tenth anniversary of the book's release, the book is now available in Spanish.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Antoniolarsongmail.com

    How could i not like this book? Ive been reading books on self guided education for several months and this dude has been doing it successfully for decades. he distills the most crucial messages of the alternative ed movement in an easily digestible, down to earth, caring approach. His stories reflect the experiences i have had with successful programming: respect individuality and build relationships...that usually paves the foundation for personal growth inspiring book. i'm gonna do more resea How could i not like this book? Ive been reading books on self guided education for several months and this dude has been doing it successfully for decades. he distills the most crucial messages of the alternative ed movement in an easily digestible, down to earth, caring approach. His stories reflect the experiences i have had with successful programming: respect individuality and build relationships...that usually paves the foundation for personal growth inspiring book. i'm gonna do more research on his organization

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon Sallée

    Littky's book is inspirational in the best way possible. There are some brilliant ideas that could transform public education as a whole or individual classrooms. While BP is directed at the high school level, the fundamentals are readily transferable to any grade or grade bracket, and there is a wealth of connections throughout with the work of similarly-minded progressive educators. Littky's book is inspirational in the best way possible. There are some brilliant ideas that could transform public education as a whole or individual classrooms. While BP is directed at the high school level, the fundamentals are readily transferable to any grade or grade bracket, and there is a wealth of connections throughout with the work of similarly-minded progressive educators.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rajesh

    Finally a revolutionary manual to teaching young people. This book teaches basically the opposite of what most college education programs were teaching when I went through 7 years ago. But this book is not just for teachers, it is a metaphore for any profession.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer P

    For school - intersting book with an interesting concept. I'm not sure our public schools will ever be able to get anywhere close to this school's approach, but some of the ideas are definitely worth pursuing. For school - intersting book with an interesting concept. I'm not sure our public schools will ever be able to get anywhere close to this school's approach, but some of the ideas are definitely worth pursuing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Sarlog

    An amazing look at what education should be like and the success kids have when given the freedom to pursue interests that matter to them. A great argument for how learning is hindered, rather than fostered, in the typical school.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jmswtsn

    The best book on education I've ever read - provides examples of real, working progressive education. No standards, no tests, no grades, just real learning and successful graduates. Everyone involved with education should really take a look at this book. The best book on education I've ever read - provides examples of real, working progressive education. No standards, no tests, no grades, just real learning and successful graduates. Everyone involved with education should really take a look at this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    An excellent book by The Big Picture Company founder - parent company of the the "MET" school in Providence, RI. An excellent book by The Big Picture Company founder - parent company of the the "MET" school in Providence, RI.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Ruei

    I think if i learn more I will provde more to the needed people and make me to take that big picture.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Bone

    so many straight forward lessons here about what we could do to turn our teaching factories into learning communities...we lack the will, not the knowledge to do this

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Not my direct interest, but picking up some insight into education for kids as part of picking up some more skill in education. Just started this...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    A book written from two research educators who brings ideas of reformation to education.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Good book for someone new to progressive education; however, it rather simp;list for anyone steeped in the philosophies of John Dewey already.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Hansen

  27. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gladys Matias

  29. 4 out of 5

    Greer

  30. 4 out of 5

    Darren Beck

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