"Disrupting Class" draws on E|E thinking

Mailing Date: 
July 22, 2008
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Updates and Insights from Education|Evolving
Vol. 4, No. 3July 22, 2008Jon Schroeder, Editor

Disrupting Class plots positive future; draws on E|E thinking

At first glance, the phrase "Disrupting Class" might trigger a vision of unruly teenagers, a frustrated teacher and too little learning going on in a classroom that's rapidly sliding into chaos.

But, the new book, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, actually plots a positive, optimistic future for K-12 education. That future, its authors argue, could include both reaching the millions of young people not succeeding in today's schools AND significantly enhancing learning for bright students now frustrated by a rigid, uniform system of courses, classes and teaching methods.

Disrupting Class is co-authored by noted innovation scholar Clayton Christensen at the Harvard Business School, Education|Evolving's Senior Associate Curt Johnson and Michael Horn, co-founder and director of Harvard's Innosight Institute.

The book supports policies that create "space" for new, more customized learning environments designed to produce what's now missing in too many classrooms -- highly motivated students and teachers. In fact the book makes the bold statement that American education is already being disrupted from the outside and predicts that, in just over a decade, a majority of high school classes will be taken on-line.

Disrupting Class is heavily influenced by three years of extensive conversations between Christensen and E|E's principals over how to get better results in K-12 learning. Much of this discussion has focused on Christensen's 15 years of research on the role of "disruptive innovation" in the rise and fall of private sector companies. E|E's contribution has been to use this research to help explain both the threats and opportunities now facing American public education.

Click the following link for more on Disrupting Class -- including a podcast interview with Clayton Christensen, commentary, news reports and reviews of the book and information on ordering what one reviewer is calling, "A must read for anyone thinking and worrying about where education should be headed."


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