You are here

Reach for Greatness
Share

Reach for Greatness
Personalizable Education for All Children



January 2018 | 120 pages | Corwin

Make education personalizable - Every child can be great when they own their learning

For years, focusing on the achievement gap has led to the same result: We hope for greatness and settle for competence. But why settle? It’s time to recognize that the potential for greatness lies in a unique form within each child, and that the goal of education should be to encourage and develop it. 

This inspiring manifesto brings in research from different disciplines to show where children’s strengths and passions can be found, and how personalizable education uncovers them. Also included:

  • Strategies for implementing personalizable education
  • Examples showing practices that have gone wrong—and right
  • Guidance for teaching disadvantaged students 

Every child has the potential to be great. Teaching for greatness gives students control of their own learning—and guides them toward future happiness and success.

Are you tired of gimmicks like "personalized learning" that have become empty slogans, but keen for the real depth and substance of an education that helps all students to reach their full potential?  If so, Yong Zhao's Reaching for Greatness is the book for you!  With vivid examples and carefully scaffolded argumentation, Zhao shows how what he calls "personalizable education" offers an exciting and practical future for all of our students truly to become great.  Zhao's writing is full of whimsy and humor, so that you can't wait to see what this wonderful alchemist of educational change is going to say next. Best of all, this gem of a book is one that not only all teachers, but also a rising generation of students, will cherish as well.

--Dennis Shirley, Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Educational Change.

Once again Yong pulls us from our narrow view of what education is and reminds us what it needs to be. Personalized education (as opposed to the ubiquitous and limited notion of personalized learning) is essential for a time in which we need to recognize and cultivate the diverse strengths of our students for their own good and our shared future on earth. Poignant stories from Yong's global travels to schools make the research in this call to action relatable and accessible for all educational stakeholders. This is an important read!  

--Emily McCarren, Academy Principal, Punahou School, co-author of The Take Action Guides to World Class Learners book series.



 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction: Stop Looking at My Bad Leg
 
Chapter 1: The Ambitious Pursuit of Mediocrity: How Education Curtails Children’s Potential for Greatness
 
Chapter 2: All Children Are Above the Average: The Potential for Greatness
 
Chapter 3: A Musician Must Make Music: The Need to Be Great
 
Chapter 4: Take Control: Personalizable Education for Greatness
 
Chapter 5: Trust Me: Realizing Personalizable Education
 
References
 
Index

Yong Zhao again provokes and challenges our thinking by sounding a call to immediate action. Our education system must fundamentally change to meet the needs of our children. With insightful personal stories and penetrating analysis of our current education system, Zhao, at once challenging, provocative, and optimistic, shows us that personalizable education models are the way to transform our education system from one that supports mediocrity to one which magnifies the passions and talents of each student.

Rod Allen, Superintendent
Cowichan Valley School District

A bold and compelling call for a wholesale shift in our education priorities.  With powerful stories and examples, Dr. Zhao lays out an aspirational goal for our schools: empower each child to create a distinctive path to greatness by reinforcing strengths and unleashing passions.  Read this, and you’ll be inspired!

Ted Dintersmith, Executive Producer
Most Likely to Succeed

Reach for Greatness is a must-read for the truly professional educator today. Common sense and expert practice are hard to find. Yong Zhao brings insight and intelligence in arguing for a dramatic shift of thinking about schooling that is fit for today’s world. This book helps give shape to a robust narrative sorely needed for every student.

Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools
Diocese of Parramatta

Are you keen for the real depth and substance of an education that helps all students to reach their full potential but tired of empty promises for "personalized learning”?  If so, Yong Zhao's Reaching for Greatness is the book for you!  With vivid examples and carefully scaffolded argumentation, Zhao shows how what he calls "personalizable education" offers an exciting and practical future for all of our students truly to become great.  Zhao's writing is so full of whimsy and humor that you can't wait to see what this wonderful alchemist of educational change is going to say next. Best of all, this gem of a book is one that not only all teachers, but also a rising generation of students, will cherish.

Dennis Shirley, Professor
Lynch School of Education

Reading a book by Yong Zhao is always an educational awakening! In Reach for Greatness, Zhao makes it clear that students are the potential for greatness within schools, not a problem our educational system needs to fix. This book challenges educators to re-examine the true purpose of education and commit to supporting students’ passions and cultivating their strengths. Personalizable education occurs when students are in the driver’s seat—their voices need to be heard, valued, and acted upon. Thanks to Yong, I am more determined than ever to ensure that students are not just along for the ride.

Russell J. Quaglia, Author
Teacher Voice, Parent Voice, Student Voice, and Aspire High
Key features
This is one of a series of brief books that highlight key actions school leaders can undertake right away to inform and improve their practice. Each book should be 45-60 pages and all will be developed by the very best experts in the field. This book is richly detailed with examples and vignettes from around the world and has an absorbing personal and narrative style.

Preview this book

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

contact corwin

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781506316093
$20.95

For instructors

Please select a format: