This book offers stories and reflections from the alumni of a school where the students hired the teachers, ran their own government, evaluated their own progress, and designed their own curriculum. It’s the story of an extended family of students, staff, and parents who have formed their own community of learners over the course of thirty-eight years.
We all have an important stake in our public schools. In these days of teaching for testing, standardization, school violence, and alienation, readers will want to know about a public school that has not only weathered the political and social storms of nearly four decades, but has done so with integrity and success. The alumni and the author offer their perspectives on how a school without grades, credits, or a set curriculum has affected them as adults. Some say it saved their lives!
Lives of Passion, Schools of Hope answers questions frequently asked about a school so different from the mainstream: did students succeed in college, what do they do for a living, are they living according to the ideals of the school, are they happy and productive as adults in a democratic society? The answers to these questions are in turn surprising, riveting, and insightful.
Lives of Passion, School of Hope points toward a future that may depend on the injection of heart, hope, and passion into our public schools. It is the story of the place of personal growth in public education and how we can be inspired to create a better world.
Rick Posner taught in Jefferson County public schools for thirty years, and served as the Assistant Principal at the Open School from 1999-2001. He received his doctorate from the University of Denver in 1989. He lives in Denver, Colorado, and is a consultant for schools around the country. His website is www.rickposner.com.
[quote]This book reaffirms one's faith in the power of public education and illustrates how the creative spirit of educators and the intelligence, passion, and engagement of students can lead to learning on the highest level. —Herbert Kohl, author of 36 Children[/quote]
[quote]Lives of Passion, School of Hope is a refreshing antidote to the arid and pinched view of education and school reform suffocating and strangling any clear thinking in the public square today. In this essential and urgent book Posner illuminates the vital work of a single school, and maps a way out of the mess we’re in. —William Ayers, author of To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher[/quote]
[quote]Such alternative schools haven't disappeared, but their stories too often have. They must become the pilots for the future—schools to argue about and learn from. A refreshingly clear account of what schools can mean to young people's real life futures. —Deborah Meier, author of The Power of Their Ideas[/quote]
[quote]This wonderful book shows us what all schools could and should be doing. —Ron Miller, Ph.D., author of Free Schools, Free People: Education and Democracy After the 1960s[/quote]
[quote]This is a lovely piece of work and a great story. Rick has a sweet way of threading a ton of student voices together into a readable and compelling narrative. The hope and love in this book are impossible to miss. —Matt Hern, author of Deschooling Our Lives[/quote]