My Book: School Transformation

After 60 years with schools and the gathering of 7,500 reports, articles, notes, conference handouts and the experience as a teacher, principal, and university teacher, I’ve written the book, I always planned about different and better ways of schooling.

The book, School Transformation at 450 pages with 500 footnotes (on the bottom of the referenced page), and written without jargon for the general public, educators and policymakers. It has stories, quotes, my experiences, and famous but little-known items, that new generations would have seen go viral.

I’m getting a good reaction, some calling it the education book of the century. It will stimulate a new way of thinking about our outmoded system. They say only I could have written it because of my base of experience and references. I’m certain it will excite you.

School Transformation is available from Amazon.

Innovation Sources

Innovation sources: the following is a partial list of organizations thought to promote progressive education. I omitted others considered primarily training or commercial outfits. There may be errors of omission or mischaracterization, but the list shows how many organizations promote progressive approaches. Scroll down to see the entire list.

  1. Whole-Learner Education
  2. Advancing Education
  3. Alternative Education Resource  Organization
  4. Atlantic Rim Collaborative
  5. Buck Institute for Education
  6. Center for Collaboration
  7. Center for Mental Health in Schools
  8. Center for Reinventing Public Education
  9. Centre for Personalized Learning
  10. Communities in Schools
  11. Competency Works
  12. CTQ Collab
  13. Deeper Learning Network
  14. Digital Badge Program
  15. EdSurge
  16. Education Evolving
  17. Education Reimagined Lab (Note: check link to Transcend)
  18. Education Reimagined
  19. Edutopia
  20. Experiential Learning Depot
  21. Future Lab
  22. Future Ready Schools
  23. generation Learning Challenges
  24. Getting Smart
  25. HundRed
  26. iNACOL
  27. Innovation Sources
  28. Institute for Educational Leadership
  29. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning
  30. International Society for Technology in Education
  31. Just Ask Us
  32. KnowledgeWorks\
  33. LeaningForward
  34. Maker Faire
  35. MindShift Education
  36. National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  37. Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  38. NewTech NetworkNext
  39. Next Generation Learning Challenges
  40. OBESSU Organizing Bureau  European School Student Unions
  41. Open Way Learning
  42. Problem-based Learning
  43. Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
  44. Reimagine School
  45. Reinventing Schools Coalition
  46. Remake Learning
  47. ReSchool Colorado
  48. Spark-Y
  49. Transcend
  50. UNICEF
  52. Up with Learning
  53. Yellow Hats League

School Transformation


Wayne B. Jennings Ph.D.

Key Points:

Four Goals for K-12 Education
• Active, responsible Citizenship
• Productive, satisfying careers
• Lifetime learning
• Personal fulfillment

Seven Problems of Present Schooling
• Disengagement rates of 60 %
• Dropouts (one million per year)
• In-school dropouts
• Achievement gap between poor and middle class
• Suspension levels
• Limitations of the classroom model
• Curve of forgetting

Four Attempts at Fixing Schools
• 100 million each: Miami, Philadelphia, Newark
• Federal grants (millions)
• 1000s of workshops, seminars, books
• Abundant Consultants
• But: Disappointing results

Features of our New Era
• Technology: (more to come, e.g. AI)
• Families have changed
• Race, gender equity and preferences
• Many others

Four Key findings about how the Brain Learns
• Input: the more the better
• Experience: opportunities to test one’s wings
• Feedback: essential to refine learnings
• Safety: lack of anxiety, unconditional positive regard

Nine Basic Principles for Transformed Schools
• Personal learning plans
• Advisor program
• Trust and belief in youth
• Student-directed learning
• Vision, team building, commitment
• Supportive creative team
• Partnerships (many kinds)
• Choices: students and teachers
• Technology
But, (what to do with resisters)

Some Brain Compatible Learning Activities

• Project-based, place-based ventures
• Outdoors, escape from 4 walls
• Community resources (rural also)
• Service experiences
• Field trips, local and extended
• Sparks
• Interdisciplinary
• Exchanges, schools, rural, urban, ethnicity
• Reflection
• Photography, video tape, editing
• Drama, debate
• Fine arts, practical arts
• Sports, recreation
• Oral and written history
• Writing: stories, newspapers
• Internships, Shadow studies
• Decision making, democracy, PP
• Learned expertise, geniuses
• Exhibitions, public presentations
• Restorative practices
• Pupil-teacher planning
• Student as a resource
• Camping
• Competencies (Badging)