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Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids

ISBN: 978-1-119-02244-2
256 pages
July 2015, Jossey-Bass
Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (1119022444) cover image

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Praise for Overloaded and Underprepared

“Parents, teachers, and administrators are all concerned that America’s kids are stressed out, checked out, or both—but many have no idea where to begin when it comes to solving the problem. That’s why the work of Challenge Success is so urgent. It has created a model for creating change in our schools that is based on research and solid foundational principles like communication, creativity, and compassion. If your community wants to build better schools and a brighter future, this book is the place to start.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Challenge Success synthesizes the research on effective school practices and offers concrete tools and strategies that educators and parents can use immediately to make a difference in their communities. By focusing on the day-to-day necessities of a healthy schedule; an engaging, personalized, and rigorous curriculum; and a caring climate, this book is an invaluable resource for school leaders, teachers, parents, and students to help them design learning communities where every student feels a sense of belonging, purpose, and motivation to learn the skills necessary to succeed now and in the future.”
—Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University

“Finally, a book about education and student well-being that is both research-based and eminently readable. With all the worry about student stress and academic engagement, Pope, Brown and Miles gently remind us that there is much we already know about how to create better schools and healthier kids. Citing evidence-based ‘best practices’ gleaned from years of work with schools across the country, they show us what is not working, but more importantly, what we need to do to fix things. Filled with practical suggestions and exercises that can be implemented easily, as well as advice on how to approach long-term change, Overloaded and Underprepared is a clear and compelling roadmap for teachers, school administrators and parents who believe that we owe our children a better education.”
—Madeline Levine, co-founder Challenge Success; author of The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well

“This new book from the leaders behind Challenge Success provides a thorough and balanced exploration of the structural challenges facing students, parents, educators, and administrators in our primary and secondary schools today. The authors’ unique approach of sharing proven strategies that enable students to thrive, while recognizing that the most effective solutions are tailored on a school-by-school basis, makes for a valuable handbook for anyone seeking to better understand the many complex dimensions at work in a successful learning environment.”
—John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University

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Table of Contents

List of Tables, Figures, and Exhibits v

About the Authors vii

About Challenge Success ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 From Vision to Action: An Overview of the School Change Process 7

2 A Saner Schedule 19

3 The Homework Dilemma 39

4 Engagement Matters: Backward Planning and Project-Based Learning 61

5 Authentic and Alternative Assessments 89

6 The Advanced Placement Program—Benefits and Challenges 121

7 Creating a Climate of Care 135

8 Educating the Whole School 163

9 Keeping Momentum for Positive School Change 185

Appendix: Shadow Day, Fishbowls, and Dialogue Nights 193

References 219

Index 235

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Author Information

DENISE POPE, PHD, is a senior lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and the co-founder of Challenge Success.

MAUREEN BROWN, MBA, is executive director for Challenge Success, where she oversees daily operations as well as marketing and strategic planning.

SARAH MILES, M.S.W., PHD,is director of research for Challenge Success. She researches how schools and classrooms can best support student learning and engagement.

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Press Release

July 21, 2015
Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids By Denise Pope, Maureen Brown and Sarah Miles

Many students have lost their enthusiasm for learning and aren’t retaining important concepts and skills. Our society’s over-emphasis on grades, test scores and rote answers has stressed-out some students and marginalized many more. Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids(Wiley; July 2015: ISBN: 978-1-119-02244-2)  provides the tools needed to begin making immediate changes at  school, in the community and at home that will benefit all kids.                                                                           

Our current fast-paced, high-pressure culture works against everything we know about healthy child development. While there is content that must be mastered, our singular focus on results has resulted in a lack of attention to other components of a successful life - the ability to be independent, adaptable, ethical and motivated critical thinkers. Based on over 10 years of work in the field and over 20 case studies from Challenge Success schools, Overloaded and Underprepared helps identify areas for improvement at school, brainstorm possible solutions, identify potential obstacles to change, and achieve buy-in from multiple stakeholders, and it outlines the research-based SPACE framework, providing best practices on:

  • Students' schedule and use of time
  • Project- and problem-based learning
  • Alternative and authentic assessments
  • Climate of care
  • Education of parents, students and faculty about well-being

Overloaded and Underprepared helps educators better prepare students—mentally, emotionally and academically—to handle the challenges they will face in school and in life.

 

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