Grant Lichtman’s book was the right medicine at the right time for me. I’ve been wrestling with innovation in shifting landscape of education. The target is becoming clearer for what education has done right in the past, and what changes are needed to continue to do right in the future. Books that I’ve read in the past help to define the target and provide examples: Sir Ken Robinson’s latest: “Creative Schools”, see my review here, and Liz Arney’s “Going Blended” see my review here. What I like about Grant Lichtman’s #EdJourney is that, like Yong Zhou’s “World Class Learners“, the way to get there is laid out. They act almost like work books: provocative prompts, great driving questions, clear rationale, and examples with which to go deeper.
I would recommend this book for educators that are driving change. There will always be hiccups, bumps in the road and outright obstacles. Grant Lichtman has literally gotten into his car and driven across the United States touring schools and interviewing their teachers and administration to tell their stories of innovation. His anecdotes are valuable; his examples are poignent, and his findings are key to anyone who is trying to innovate:
I found four obstacles repeated most frequently that appear to present a truly existential challenge to a school’s ability to change what it does:
Use of Time
Developing people and their ability to change
The book is divided into these four sections where the obstacles is unpacked and explored. If you’re looking for something that will ease your worried mind about the HOW of innovation, as well as give you some examples of WHO is innovating, this is the book.
As a side-note, many of his examples are schools from the CAIS Project 2051, at which I was a lead facilitator. If you want to read something that has a Canadian context to innovation, check out our summary report here.