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Schooling for the Real World: The Essential Guide to Rigorous and Relevant Learning

ISBN: 978-0-7879-5041-5
128 pages
October 1999, Jossey-Bass
Schooling for the Real World: The Essential Guide to Rigorous and Relevant Learning (0787950416) cover image
"The melding of reform approaches by the Coalition of Essential Schools and of the 'school-to-work' movement has been inevitable as well as sensible. In Schooling for the Real World, Adria Steinberg, Kathleen Cushman, and Robert Riordan outline how these reform initiatives have effectively coiled together and put their collective experience into an accessible and usable form. Given its complexity, the practical reshaping of America's high schools will surely be a messy business. The authors bring some order from their experience and thereby provide all of us a big boost ahead."--Theodore R. Sizer, chairman, Coalition of Essential Schools

"Schooling for the Real World offers many practical ways for teachers and schools to provide young people a genuine education that gives them experience in the world. Such experience adds considerable value to what is studied in school and helps young people see themselves as citizens of their places, persons who are highly valued for their seriousness of purpose and hard work by adults in their communities."--Vito Perrone, director of Programs in Teaching, Harvard Graduate School of Education

In today's workplace, the "knowledge worker" has become key to high performance. This person must have not only multiple talents and skills, but a sound understanding of what works in the real world. This incisive book argues for schooling that combines rigorous academic instruction with learning in real-world settings. It offers practical strategies for designing effective learning programs, developing a strong curriculum, setting standards and goals, assessing student work, supporting rewarding internships, and much more.

In clear and straightforward language, the authors present inspiring examples of successful schools from such organizations as the Coalition of Essential Schools, Jobs for the Future, and New Urban High Schools to show how work-based learning can become a schoolwide effort--and not simply a specialized program. Throughout the book, there are examples offering important lessons and tools to administrators, teachers, policymakers, and community leaders. Schooling for the Real World heralds a future in which the knowledge worker is not the exception, but the rule.
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1. Introduction: Initiating the Conversation.

2. Teaching and Learning in Real World Contexts Learning through Projects Designing High-Quality Projects Kids as Consultants Learning through Work.

3. Changing the Whole School Small and Personal Learning, Not Training The Tracking Trap Setting Standards Support for Teachers.

4. Creating Circles of Support Shepherds of Reform Preserving Academic Integrity Clear Signals and Active Support Common and Uncommon Measures Benchmarking School-to-Career Reforms The State Role.

5. Conclusion: Continuing the Conversation.

Resources.

Organizations.

Readings.

Video Productions.
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ADRIA STEINBERG is a program director of Jobs for the Future, a national nonprofit organization working to strengthen the transitions and links between learning and work. She has worked in and written about high schools for over thirty years and is the author of several books, including Real Learning, Real Work (1997). For five years, she was a writer for and editor of The Harvard Education Letter. KATHLEEN CUSHMAN has written for more than a decade about education reform, describing the Coalition of Essential Schools in the journal Horace and the schools of the Annenberg Challenge in Challenge Journal. She is editor of The Collected Horace: Theory in Practice in Essential Schools, a five-volume work published in 1998. ROBERT RIORDAN is a longtime teacher, administrator, and teacher trainer. He was named National School-to-Work Practitioner of the Year in 1994. He is currently project director for Changing the Subject: The New Urban High School, a joint initiative of the Big Picture Company and the U.S. Department of Education.
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"The melding of reform approaches by the Coalition of Essential Schools and of the 'school-to-work' movement has been inevitable as well as sensible. In Schooling for the Real World, Adria Steinberg, Kathleen Cushman, and Robert Riordan outline how these reform initiatives have effectively coiled together and put their collective experience into an accessible and usable form. Given its complexity, the practical reshaping of America's high schools will surely be a messy business. The authors bring some order from their experience and thereby provide all of us a big boost ahead." (Theodore R. Sizer, chairman, Coalition of Essential Schools)

"Schooling for the Real World offers many practical ways for teachers and schools to provide young people a genuine education that gives them experience in the world. Such experience adds considerable value to what is studied in school and helps young people see themselves as citizens of their places, persons who are highly valued for their seriousness of purpose and hard work by adults in their communities." (Vito Perrone, director of Programs in Teaching, Harvard Graduate School of Education)

"Schooling for the Real World provides a series of snapshots demonstrating the progress of schools towards the genuine integration of schooling, the work place and the larger community. It explores the myriad dimensions of program, curriculum, standards, assessment, culture, staffing, and support--all of which a school must consider seriously as it attempts to commit to new perspectives on teaching, learning, and the larger purposes of education for the twenty-first century." (Paula Evans, principal, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Massachusetts, and former director of professional development, Annenberg Institute for School Reform)

"Thought-provoking and practical, Schooling for the Real World calls upon educators to rethink the relationship between school and other institutions in society. I highly recommAnd it!" (Sheila Jordan, superintendent, Alameda County Office of Education, California)
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