- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (Aug. 16 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501104322
- ISBN-13: 978-1501104329
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era Paperback – Aug 16 2016
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"Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith want us to stop thinking about success for our children in terms of test scores, and start concentrating on real learning, creative problem-solving, and the joy of discovery. And instead of just diagnosing the ills of our education system, they also offer a remedy in the form of a complete re-imagining of what high-quality education for all could and should be. Most Likely to Succeed is a book for everyone interested in seeing our children thrive in the 21st century.” (Daniel H. Pink, author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND)
"Bracing, revelatory, and always backed up with hard facts, Most Likely to Succeed should top the reading list for any teacher, parent, citizen, or high school or college student. Wagner and Dintersmith's incisive prose slices through the politics to show—without pointing fingers—how schools can refocus to prepare our children for the jobs of the future." (Laszlo Bock, SVP of People at Google and author of WORK RULES!)
"This is an urgently needed and inspiring book, with two authors who have the first-hand experience to blueprint a bridge from the schools we have to the future we need." (Anya Kamenetz, author of THE TEST and DIY U)
“A searing and urgent indictment of the damaging priorities of American education and a fully grounded, practical vision of how to re-imagine it for the world we live in now. In plain language, Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner tell it like it is and how it really must be if America’s students, economy and civil democracy are to survive and flourish in the 21st century. A compelling and important book.” (Sir Ken Robinson PhD, author of "Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education")
"If you read one book about education this decade, make it this one. I couldn't put it down, and neither will you." (Adam Braun, "New York Times" bestselling author and Founder of Pencils of Promise)
“Wagner and Dintersmith cut through the noise to demonstrate how our education system must move from a myopic focus on high-stakes testing to an emphasis on preparing students more holistically for life, career, college and citizenship. They call for systemic changes to ensure that teachers have the time, tools and trust they need to empower kids with a passion for learning and to teach the critical skills students will need in the 21st century economy.” (Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers)
About the Author
Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab. Previously he has worked as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and the author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap.
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When I lived in Tanzania, I used to visit a primary school where the children were taught by having them all stand and recite things aloud. The idea that students should be engaged and think critically, and not just some students but all students, remains a new and powerful one.
Wagner and Dintersmith argue that even where kids no longer chant in unison, we haven’t cracked it; that students are spending too much time on rote learning, and not enough on really learning how to innovate. Children are taught to name the parts of the car, in other words, rather than how to actually drive. Most Likely to Succeed places the blame on standardized testing and the drive to prepare kids for college instead of teach them.
Standardized tests certainly have disadvantages as well as advantages, but it seems extreme to place the blame for the poor results of the American educational system entirely on them. The authors have a strong position, and there is some support for it, but claiming as they do that standardized testing is the single largest threat to national security feels a bit much.
Most Likely to Succeed has some solid ideas, and readers may find themselves nodding their heads as they go along – I liked their point that allowing students to use computers in exams might actually makes more sense if students are to learn to problem solve with technology – but for me the book struggles because it isn’t adding much to the debate. Everyone agrees we should teach students to think critically, and that we don’t just want to create low level thinkers. In some, egregious, cases, how to fix that is clear, but in most it is not. The book doesn’t really provide answers on how to resolve the hard questions, or where to go next, other than that we should be teaching students high level skills somehow.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The author calls for more innovation, creativity, and tapping into a student’s natural curiosity to promote deeper and more meaningful learning. Innovation, problem solving skills, and creativity are higher level skills that are more difficult to assess on a large scale—they take a lot of time to grade and they require input from a group and ongoing assessment of growth.
The author promotes not mastery of concepts, but rather measuring student growth over a set time period. The author is not a fan of SAT, ACT, or even AP (college board) exams and shows how these companies have promoted cultures of “teaching to the test” rather than teaching subjects as they are used in the real world (integrated, full of peer collaboration, and open to any available resource to arrive at innovative solutions).
Our schools are outdated models based on the skills factory workers needed during the industrial revolution—in order to stay ahead, we need to empower our students with exposure to innovation and collaboration and we need to foster 21st century skills in the classroom.
Excellent book, highly recommend!