I am beginning what I hope will become a frequent feature on this blog -- the Guest Author. If you would like to contribute, please email me your proposed post.
Here's the first Guest Author post from Tim Skaggs, Program Consultant for the American Leadership Forum:
The 2008 ALF Convocation was a wake up call for many of us. I don’t know about you but I left feeling like I know very little about how to connect with this generation of Pre K – 12 learners. David Warlick did a great job explaining why my 19 year old son hated high school and why he’s not alone. Since Jeff discovered on-line college courses he’s pulling a 3.5 average and can’t seem to get enough. He lives and works in one state, goes to college in another and is not having the “college experience” that I so highly treasured. His educational experience is so vastly different from mine that I can hardly relate to it. If you liked David Warlick’s futurist presentation at convocation you will love Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson.
As educators, you may never have heard of Christensen, Horn and Johnson before because they don’t typically write about education. Disrupting Class will be found in the business section of your bookstore (if you still use one of those outdated stores that have books sorted into sections.) The authors’ business perspective on the future of education is beautifully aligned with the world foreseen by David Warlick.
Disrupting Class is less a prescription of how to solve public education’s ills than a look into a crystal ball. It is a forecast of what will be, not what might be if we all do the right things. I also found it refreshing that Christensen, et. al., don’t blame schools, parents, teachers, kids, administrators, legislators or unions for the state of public education although each could certainly take a healthy serving of the blame pie. They actually make a pretty good case that public education has done a decent job of meeting the changing and compounding demands that have been put on the backs of schools. Given that we are one of the only nations to be so bold as to attempt to provide a quality education for every child we have reason to feel good about ourselves.