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Reach for Greatness - Book Cover

Reach for Greatness

Personalizable Education for All Children

By: Yong Zhao

With research from multiple disciplines, discover how personalizable education goes beyond the achievement gap to uncover, encourage, and develop each child’s unique strengths and passions.

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506316093
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Impact Leadership Series
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 120
  • Publication date: January 25, 2018

Price: $23.95

For Instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.


Make education personalizable - Every child can be great when they own their learning

For years, focusing on the achievement gap has led to the same result: We hope for greatness and settle for competence. But why settle? It’s time to recognize that the potential for greatness lies in a unique form within each child, and that the goal of education should be to encourage and develop it. 

This inspiring manifesto brings in research from different disciplines to show where children’s strengths and passions can be found, and how personalizable education uncovers them. Also included:

  • Strategies for implementing personalizable education
  • Examples showing practices that have gone wrong—and right
  • Guidance for teaching disadvantaged students 

Every child has the potential to be great. Teaching for greatness gives students control of their own learning—and guides them toward future happiness and success.

Are you tired of gimmicks like "personalized learning" that have become empty slogans, but keen for the real depth and substance of an education that helps all students to reach their full potential?  If so, Yong Zhao's Reaching for Greatness is the book for you!  With vivid examples and carefully scaffolded argumentation, Zhao shows how what he calls "personalizable education" offers an exciting and practical future for all of our students truly to become great.  Zhao's writing is full of whimsy and humor, so that you can't wait to see what this wonderful alchemist of educational change is going to say next. Best of all, this gem of a book is one that not only all teachers, but also a rising generation of students, will cherish as well.

--Dennis Shirley, Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Educational Change.

Once again Yong pulls us from our narrow view of what education is and reminds us what it needs to be. Personalized education (as opposed to the ubiquitous and limited notion of personalized learning) is essential for a time in which we need to recognize and cultivate the diverse strengths of our students for their own good and our shared future on earth. Poignant stories from Yong's global travels to schools make the research in this call to action relatable and accessible for all educational stakeholders. This is an important read!  

--Emily McCarren, Academy Principal, Punahou School, co-author of The Take Action Guides to World Class Learners book series.

Key features

This is one of a series of brief books that highlight key actions school leaders can undertake right away to inform and improve their practice. Each book should be 45-60 pages and all will be developed by the very best experts in the field. This book is richly detailed with examples and vignettes from around the world and has an absorbing personal and narrative style.


Yong Zhao photo

Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professor in Educational Leadership at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education in Australia. He previously served as the Presidential Chair, Associate Dean, and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Prior to Oregon, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the International Academy of Education.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Author

Introduction: Stop Looking at My Bad Leg

Chapter 1: The Ambitious Pursuit of Mediocrity: How Education Curtails Children’s Potential for Greatness

Chapter 2: All Children Are Above the Average: The Potential for Greatness

Chapter 3: A Musician Must Make Music: The Need to Be Great

Chapter 4: Take Control: Personalizable Education for Greatness

Chapter 5: Trust Me: Realizing Personalizable Education