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Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World Hardcover – 25 Jul 2014

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From the Inside Flap

“Why do we need to know this?”

This standard student question can be annoying, but it is a version of one of the most important questions in education: What’s worth learning in school?

“When that ballistic missile comes from the back of the room, it’s a good reminder that the question doesn’t just belong to state school boards, authors of textbooks, writers of curriculum standards, and other elite. It’s on the minds of our students. This entire book is about how we answer that question.”

In Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World David Perkins, founding member of Harvard’s Project Zero, offers a toolkit for thinking through “what’s worth learning?” There is no one answer, but with the information and insights Perkins shares, teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, politicians, parents, and even students can take a big step toward a curriculum that truly prepares learners for life in a complex, changing, and challenging world.

Throughout this vital resource, Perkins explores the key concepts, curriculum criteria, and techniques for prioritizing content so teachers can guide students toward the big understandings that matter. By reimagining the curriculum, teachers can go beyond the basic skills and cultivate critical and creative thinking, as well as the collaborative, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills that speak strongly to living and thriving in any era. With a new focus, educators can encourage learners to not simply master content academically, but also to notice where content connects to life situations, yields insights, and prompts productive action.

As Perkins explains, what is conventionally taught in our schools today may not develop the kinds of citizens, workers, family, and community members we want and need. The basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, even if strongly developed, aren’t enough. Future Wise shows that only by reimagining what we teach our children can we lead students down the road to learning that is truly lifeworthy.

From the Back Cover


“Rarely does a book come along that can change the way we view the world. This is a must-read book, not just for educators, but for anyone who cares about education or, indeed, lifelong learning. David Perkins does not tell the reader what should be learned in schools – he takes the reader on a journey to clarify his or her own goals and priorities for ‘lifeworthy learning,’ a truly enlightening journey.”
—Charles M. Reigeluth, professor emeritus, School of Education, Indiana University

“We are working so hard in this country on the details of school improvement that we don’t always stop to consider the big picture – if we are actually working on the right things. David Perkins has long helped us address the essential question of how do we know what students understand. In this important book he gives us a fresh vision of curriculum: how do we know what is worth teaching and learning?”
—Ron Berger, chief academic officer, Expeditionary Learning

“In Future Wise, David Perkins, the author of Smart Schools and Outsmarting IQ, continues his tradition of insightful, visionary and original analyses of the present and the future for education. Educators, policymakers, researchers—you cannot afford to miss this book.”
—Gavriel Salomon, professor emeritus, University of Haifa, Israel

“I have worked with David Perkins for close to half a century and whenever I am in his company, I still learn from him. In this seminal book, David powerfully and gracefully shares with the world of educators his incomparably deep thinking about teaching and learning.”
—Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

“David Perkins, preeminent authority on learning and teaching, offers profound insights into the purpose and content of twenty-first century schooling. For educators in the Information Age, this is an essential, enthralling read; a book for global excogitation.”
—Rod Rock, superintendent, Clarkston Community Schools, Michigan

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