Building School 2.0 How to Create the Schools We Need

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-09-08
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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Ninety-five propositions for creating more relevant, more caring schools

There is a growing desire to reexamine education and learning. Educators use the phrase "school 2.0" to think about what schools will look like in the future. Moving beyond a basic examination of using technology for classroom instruction, Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need is a larger discussion of how education, learning, and our physical school spaces can—and should—change because of the changing nature of our lives brought on by these technologies.

Well known for their work in creating Science Leadership Academy (SLA), a technology-rich, collaborative, learner-centric school in Philadelphia, founding principal Chris Lehmann and former SLA teacher Zac Chase are uniquely qualified to write about changing how we educate. The best strategies, they contend, enable networked learning that allows research, creativity, communication, and collaboration to help prepare students to be functional citizens within a modern society. Their model includes discussions of the following key concepts:

  • Technology must be ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible
  • Classrooms must be learner-centric and use backwards design principles
  • Good technology can be better than new technology
  • Teachers must serve as mentors and bring real-world experiences to students

Each section of Building School 2.0 presents a thesis designed to help educators and administrators to examine specific practices in their schools, and to then take their conclusions from theory to practice. Collectively, the theses represent a new vision of school, built off of the best of what has come before us, but with an eye toward a future we cannot fully imagine.

Author Biography

CHRIS LEHMANN is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, a progressive science and technology high school in Philadelphia, PA. Chris was named Outstanding Leader of the Year by the International Society of Technology in Education in 2013 and in 2014 was awarded the prestigious "Rising Star" McGraw Prize in Education. Chris is also the author of the education blog Practical Theory:

ZAC CHASE is a former teacher, an instructional technology coordinator, a consultant, and a writer who blogs at An original Freedom Writer Teacher, he has contributed to several books including the bestselling Teaching Hope: Stories from the Freedom Writer Teachers and Freedom Writers Diary Teacher's Guide.

Table of Contents

About the Authors viii

About Science Leadership Academy xi

Acknowledgments xii

Foreword xiv

1 School Should Mirror the World asWe Believe It Could Be 1

2 We Must End Educational Colonialism 3

3 Citizenship Is More Important Than the Workforce 6

4 Build Modern Schools 9

5 Be One School 11

6 Vision Must Live in Practice 13

7 We Must Blend Theory and Practice 16

8 Everything Matters 19

9 “What’s Good?” Is Better Than “What’s New?” 22

10 Reflection Means Better, Not More 24

11 Consider the Worst Consequence of Your Best Idea 27

12 Disrupt Disruption 30

13 Humility Matters 33

14 Build Consensus 36

15 Teach Kids Before Subjects 40

16 WhatWe Should Ask of Teachers 42

17 Schools Are Where We Come Together 45

18 WhatWe Want for Students, We Must Want for Teachers 48

19 Embrace Your Best Teacher-Self 52

20 We Must Be Our Whole Selves 54

21 Technology Should Transform School, Not Supplant It 57

22 Build Your Own Faculty Lounge 60

23 Don’t Admire the Problem 65

24 Not “Yeah, but—”; Instead, “Yes, and . . .” 68

25 Ignore the Seat Back 71

26 Find Meaning Every Day 74

27 Take What You Do Seriously, but Don’t Take Yourself Seriously 76

28 Don’t Fall for Authoritarian Language 79

29 Don’t Be Authoritarian—Have Authority 81

30 Be Silly 84

31 Be in the Room 88

32 Don’t Get Ego-Invested 91

33 Plant Perennials 94

34 Cocreate Community 98

35 Say More, Talk Less 101

36 Be Deliberately Anti-Racist 103

37 Practice Inclusive Language 106

38 Honor Multiple Needs 109

39 Listen to Understand 113

40 Learning Must Be Nonnegotiable 116

41 Ask Why the Kids Are in the Room 118

42 Why DoWe Need to Know This? 120

43 Deconstruct Passion 122

44 Inquiring Minds Really DoWant to Know 125

45 Ask What They Are Curious About 128

46 Understand What Project-Based Learning Really Means 131

47 We Need to Change theWay We Teach Math 133

48 Instill a Love of Learning 136

49 Stop Deficit-Model Thinking 139

50 Start Surplus-Model Thinking 142

51 Assign Meaningful Projects 145

52 School Must Be Real Life 148

53 Engage the Entrepreneurial Spirit 152

54 Classes Should Be Lenses, Not Silos 154

55 Create Complexity, Not Complications 157

56 Find Something Interesting and Ask Questions 159

57 Story Matters 162

58 Success Is the Best Weapon 165

59 Preschool Is a Great Model 168

60 Every Kid Needs a Mentor 171

61 Inquiry Is Care 174

62 Schools Are Full of People 175

63 Care For and About 178

64 Assume Positive Intent 182

65 Have an Excess of Good Will 185

66 No Child Should Be On Silent 187

67 Audience Must Be Curated 190

68 Make Better Use of the Built-In Audience 194

69 Parent Conferences Should Be Student Conferences 197

70 Communication Is Key 200

71 There Are No Sick or Snow Days 204

72 Get Rid of the Pencil Lab 208

73 Technology Must Be Ubiquitous 210

74 Technology Must Be Necessary 212

75 Technology Must Be Invisible 215

76 Class Blogs Should Be Open Spaces 218

77 Make Personalization Authentic 221

78 Ask Better Questions 224

79 Cocurate Your School 226

80 Organize 228

81 Teach Thoughtfulness 230

82 TeachWisdom 233

83 Teach Passion 235

84 Teach Kindness 239

85 Make Advisory Work 242

86 Teachers Should Be Readers and Learners 245

87 Change at School Zone Pace 247

88 Create Space for Collaboration 250

89 Work Together to Make Us All Better 252

90 Get Together 256

91 We Must Practice a New Kind of Research 259

92 Experts Are Necessary 262

93 Success Must Be Defined by All 265

94 We Don’t Need Martyrs 268

95 Teachers Are Lucky 272

Notes 275

Works Cited 281

Index 283

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