Do you remember being bored silly in school? Or perhaps frantically taking notes but *still* not quite understanding the material? Being afraid to ask questions and look stupid, even though you didn't understand? Watching the clock as time ticked by ever so slowly, while the teacher droned on and on?
Jeremy Schneider clearly remembers how it felt to be a student. He's also spent time on the other side of the desk, as a teacher, trying to make school more interesting and successful for his students, but finding his options limited by the demands of the system. In this carefully researched and documented book, Schneider thoroughly examines what's wrong with how we educate our teens today. And he lays out a plan to make our educational system both more effective and more humane.
The author believes that we can use technology to create individualized instruction. He argues that using computer-aided instruction will engage students in learning, allowing them to move at their own pace and take a more active role in their own education. And teachers can be freed up to provide more one-on-one help to students that need it. The author explains why past attempts to incorporate technology into the classroom have been unsuccessful, and how his plan differs (dramatically) from current approaches.
Many books identify a problem in detail but leave the reader frustrated as they skimp on solutions. "Chalkbored" is not one of these books. The author provides a complete, practical plan for changing our educational system. The plan is large in scope, but it is broken down into smaller, realistic steps. Both the problems that exist today, and the elements of the proposed solution are carefully researched and thoroughly documented. He anticipates counter arguments and thoroughly addresses them. I wouldn't say that the author's approach will mitigate all problems in our current educational system, but I believe it represents a big step forward.
This book has an ambitious goal -- to spark a major change in how schools function in order to improve students' lives and educations. The author invites the reader to get involved in helping to bring this change about. Anyone (from parents to teachers to school administrators) looking for fresh ideas to improve education will find this book worth reading.