Below is a list of the books published by our staff and research partners and others that reference and reinforce EdVisions school model.
Deeper Learning, Deeper Leading: Inside Avalon School
By Walter Enloe. Available at Amazon
“Project-Based Learning (PBL) is the curricular core of Avalon. With PBL, students literally design their own education as they brainstorm, design, and execute independent, student-initiated projects. With guidance from advisors, PBL allows students to engage deeply in their study while learning independence and self-direction.” Deeper Learning, Deeper Leading is a Avalon Community project celebrating the school’s first fifteen years. The project engages members of the community to document the “Avalon narrative,” and the project includes a hard-copy and e-book text to be used in critical and celebratory forums beginning in 2017.
Learning Circles: Creating Conditions for Professional Development
By Michelle Collay, Diane Dunlap, Walter Enloe and George Gagnon, Jr. Available at Amazon
Learning circles―small groups of educators who come together purposefully to support each other in learning―can make great improvements in the quality of teaching and learning in your school.
A seminal work with seventeen printings, the focus is on teacher led professional development based upon these principles: shared decision-making, a shared sense of purpose; collaborative work toward that purpose; and collective responsibility.
Linking Through Diversity: Practical Classroom Activities for Experiencing and Understanding Our Cultures
By Walter Enloe and Ken Simon. Available at Amazon.
We can have multicultural classrooms that consist of children from many different cultures, but they may not be interacting and learning to understand one another. The term 'intercultural' suggests interacting in a way that increases the understanding and respect we have for our many cultures. The focus is on experiential, project based learning through individual and group topics and thematic teaching locally and globally
Time for Action: Stop Teaching to the Test and Start Teaching Skills
By Scott D. Wurdinger, Available at amazon.com
This book should be read by anyone concerned about the future of education in the U.S. It was written for students, parents, educators, administrators, and policy makers because it will require effort from all the individuals to create meaningful change in the education system.
Since the 1960’s, efforts to reform education–including various curricular changes, regarding approaches, teacher preparation methods, funds for the disadvantaged and instructional techniques–have failed to bring about true systemic change because the reforms do not deal with a different view of learning. The Hope Study was created to discover whether a radically non-traditional learning environment would achieve more positive results. In detailing the outcomes of the Hope Study, Assessing What Really Matters in Schools gives hope to innovative and progressive schools and to new and different accountability systems, while changing the conversation from an achievement discourse to a human development discourse.
Imagine a school with no classrooms, bells, or textbooks where students work at their own pace, are not graded, and can decide what to study. Have you ever heard of a school where teachers are responsible for the learning program, hiring and retention of personnel, and success of the school? “The Coolest School in America” – How Small Learning Communities are Changing Everything describes the creation and development of learning communities that are changing the conversation about what schools can be and do.
Teachers As Owners: A Key to Revitalizing Public Education
Edited by Edward J. Dirkswager with a foreword by Ted Kolderie. Available from amazon.com
Teacher ownership is a revolutionary way to put more excitement and meaning into the teaching profession and to revitalize public education. Teachers as Owners: A Key to Revitalizing Public Education demonstrates how being an owner rather than an employee can give teachers control of their professional activity, including full responsibility and accountability for creating and sustaining high-performing learning communities. It presents examples of teacher ownership in practice and provides practical models for those who would like to experience the professional satisfaction found in ownership.
The culture of schooling is not inherently democratic, and a collaborative culture must be cultivated by creating the community, the collective, the consensual, the consultative, and the coaching commitment. Newell and Buchen show how the experience of a group of practitioners has led the way for continual development of collaborative culture. They also discuss the problems and promises of creating and living this collaborative, democratic culture.
Passion for Learning explains the theory and practice behind making a project-based system work. Educators, parents, and students who feel oppressed by the current school system or are unsatisfied with their situation; people who are in danger of losing a school to consolidation; and those involved in small school movements in urban areas will want to read this book.
The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools
By Prakash Nair and Randall Fielding. Available from amazon.com
The Language of School Design defines a new graphic vocabulary that synthesizes learning research with best practice in school planning and design. But it is more than a book about ideas; it is also a practical tool and must-have resource for all school stakeholders involved in planning, designing, and constructing the educational adequacy of existing school facilities.
Teaching for Experiential Learning
By Scott Wurdinger and Julie Carlson. Available from amazon.com
The actual audience for this book is quite broad. It was written by educators for educators from all perspectives – traditional, progressive, and alternative. It is for use with learners of all ages – elementary, secondary, higher education and other adult learning situations. It is for education in many settings – public, private, judicial, at-risk, therapeutic, community, formal, or informal. Although it is for both inexperienced and experienced educators, it will be most useful for those who are fairly new to using experiential learning strategies, or who are familiar with only a few of the approaches offered herein. Practical examples and illustrations are provided throughout so that readers can take the ideas and begin implementing them in their own learning environments.
Empowering Our Students for the Future
Edited by Scott Wurdinger, J. Cynthia McDermott, Kiel Harell, and Hilton Smith. Available from amazon.com
Student centered, student led classrooms provide students with many important skills that promote self-confidence and self-direction. This book frames the word "empowerment" around three basic ideas: autonomy, mastery and purpose. Students need freedom to choose what is relevant and meaningful to them. They need to master skills to help them gain self-confidence and they need to find a purpose in their work that goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. Moving away from an authoritarian classroom ritual to a student centered approach is difficult. What does it look like? How do you begin? What are the challenges and how do you address them? How do you find comrades who support this work? Where is it being done? What resources are available? The main thrust of this collection of “reports from the field” is to answer these questions.
The Power of Project Based Learning
By Scott Wurdinger. Available from amazon.com
This book should be read by educators who are motivated to change their classrooms into dynamic, exciting learning environments. Project-based learning is a teaching approach that motivates and inspires students to learn and helps them become self-directed learners over time. Students learn not only content surrounding their projects, but also important life skills such as problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, communication, time management, and responsibility. Educators will learn strategies and techniques, as well as how to help students create meaningful relevant projects that can help impact and solve school, community, and even global problems. Read this book and bring project-based learning into your student’s lives!
Changing the Status Quo
By Scott Wurdinger. Available from amazon.com
The status quo in education consists of policies, practices, and power structures impacting the way we teach, and prevent students from learning in meaningful and significant ways. Assessment techniques drive our teaching practices resulting in a learning process that students strongly dislike. Technology like PowerPoint presentations and clickers force students to pay attention to lectures, but the end result is the same-memorizing information for exams. It is causing students to become less focused on comprehending what they read. It is also physically changing the way students read focusing on small sound bites on what they believe is necessary to remember for tests. Discriminating against students of color continues to be a prevalent problem as well. Data show that white educators consist of a huge majority often lacking cultural awareness in our classrooms. Reading this book will inspire you to become a courageous educator and implement meaningful changes in your classroom on how to asses your students, what kind and how much technology to use, and how to sensitively treat educators and students of color.