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Learning By Heart

Learning By Heart

Roland S. Barth, Deborah Meier (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-0-787-97223-3

Feb 2004, Jossey-Bass

276 pages

Select type: Paperback


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A decade after publication of his best-selling book, Barth returns to the schoolhouse. Drawing from a career committed to building schools rich in community, learning, and leadership, he shows how to accomplish the most difficult task of school reform-transforming a school's culture so that it will be hospitable to human learning. In an engaging conversational style, he suggests how school people can become the architects, engineers, and designers of their own schools-and of their own destinies.

Foreword xi

Deborah Meier

Acknowledgments xv

The Author xvii

Introduction xix

1. Thinking Otherwise 1

2. Culture in Question 7

3. A Community of Learners 21

4. Information Rich and Experience Poor 31

5. Exploration 41

6. Craft Knowledge 53

7. Reflection 65

8. Teacher Leadership 75

9. Impediments and Opportunities 87

10. Teachers and Principals 105

11. On Becoming a Principal 119

12. Conditions for Learning 143

13. Some Questions 167

14. Risk 183

15. Coming to a Vision 193

Epilogue 209

Appendix A: A Letter to Parents 215

Appendix B: Some Thoughts on "Conditions for Learning" 221

Notes 233

Index 239

"In a very large chorus of proponents of school reform, Roland Barth's voice stands out. As usual, his grounded wisdom makes so much sense. He rightfully puts the locus for improvement in the hands of teachers and principals. He outlines some ideas for creating a community of learners at the local level. He shares some fresh thoughts for developing educational leaders-teachers and principals. But most important, he restores the zest and sacredness of learning-the heart of education." (Terrence E. Deal, Irving Melbo Professor, Rossier School, University of Southern California)

"Roland Barth has done it again! His wisdom and compassion, added to his ability to cut through 'flavor of the month' reforms and get to the fundamentals of changing school cultures, make this book a critical read for all educators who care about making good schools for students and their teachers." (Ann Lieberman, senior scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and emeritus professor, Teachers College, Columbia University)

"Plain-spoken and persuasive convictions about schoolkeeping by a wise and humane educator." (Theodore R. Sizer, chair, Coalition of Essential Schools, Inc.)

"There is learning here for anyone who cares about education and how to create dynamic schools. Roland Barth brings both flaming passion and cool thoughts to this powerful book by reflecting on his conversations with those of us working to improve schools." (Yvonne Chan, principal, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center)

  • Shows how to build a community of learners and leaders.
  • Examines the conditions and hidden capacities that can promote continuous learning and authentic change.
  • Inspires and challenges our notion of the schoolhouse and the people who live and work there.
  • Includes case studies of successful and profound school reform.
  • Helpful appendix on applying Barth's "conditions for learning" in any school setting.