Every nine seconds, a student drops out of school. Why? For a majority, school was not relevant to them. The education system isn’t broken — it’s doing exactly what it was intended to do so — create compliant cogs in machines. It’s outdated. It’s dangerous. And it’s suppressing millions of children around the country. This McSchool model of forcing facts into kids’ brains is not only unhealthy, but has never worked.
In One Size Does Not Fit All, 17-year-old Nikhil Goyal offers a ground-breaking prescription for transforming American schools. Drawing from hundreds of interviews with renowned thinkers like Howard Gardner, Seth Godin, Dan Pink, Noam Chomsky, Diane Ravitch, and Frank Bruni, Goyal calls to radically redefine the way the country does schooling. From implementing an anti-disciplinary curriculum to reinventing the teaching profession, his propositions are timely and provocative. Goyal walks us through the tenets of the system, shattering claims dispersed in the education conversation.
He presses questions like: What if school wasn’t school anymore? What if we tailored education to every single child? What if students’ voices were heard and seen as human beings, not numbers in a spreadsheet? What if school became an incubator of innovation and a bridge between the community and the world? What if school and life were indistinguishable?
Americans surprised the world on every occasion. We were the Tim Tebows of the fourth quarter. Now that can-do practicality seems out of our reach. The book will drive a long-overdue call to action. A generation is a terrible thing to go to waste. Seth Godin once said, “When enough of us act, the system will have no choice but to listen, emulate and rush to catch up.”
One Size Does Not Fit All is a provoking and indispensable manifesto to read as millions of kids begin to start the new year in schools that have let them down year after year after year. Goyal declares that we need to cultivate — holistically and whole-heartedly – our forces of imagination and creativity within a different paradigm of human purpose. No reforms. A revolution.
Nowadays, nearly every educator-pundit, Wall Street tycoon, and Hollywood mogul has his or her recipe for education in the 21st century. It’s high time to learn the views and recommendations of a thoughtful young person. And what high school student Nikhil Goyal has to say, on the basis of his research, interviews, and reflections, is well worth pondering.
— Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of Truth Beauty and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Era of Truthiness and Twitter
What a wonderful book! I nominate Nikhil for U.S. Secretary of Education!
— Diane Ravitch, former Assistant Secretary of Education and New York Times bestselling author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System
One Size Does Not Fit All is an exceptionally eloquent cri de coeur for change.
— Don Tapscott, bestselling author of Wikinomics
A wonderful read; full of ideas, proposals and examples to fruitfully mull over — some new, some old — all from a fresh perspective.
— Deborah Meier, Senior Scholar at NYU Steinhardt School of Education
Everyone has an opinion about how to improve our schools, but no one asks students — the customers — their view. Nikhil Goyal has stepped into this vacuum with a compelling book that offers a student’s perspective on the need to radically transform education. Anyone who wants to know what really goes on in schools — and what most needs to change — should read this important book.
— Tony Wagner, Innovation Education Fellow at Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and bestselling author of Creating Innovators