Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators
From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.
Reach for Greatness
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.
- Grade Level: PreK-12
- ISBN: 9781506316093
- Published By: Corwin
- Series: Corwin Impact Leadership Series
- Year: 2018
- Page Count: 120
- Publication date: January 25, 2018
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.
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
This is a carousel with review cards. Use the previous and next buttons to navigate.
Rod Allen, Superintendent
Yong Zhao again provokes and challenges our thinking by sounding a call to immediate action. Our education system must fundamentally change to meet the needs of our children. With insightful personal stories and penetrating analysis of our current education system, Zhao, at once challenging, provocative, and optimistic, shows us that personalizable education models are the way to transform our education system from one that supports mediocrity to one which magnifies the passions and talents of each student.
Cowichan Valley School District
Ted Dintersmith, Executive Producer
A bold and compelling call for a wholesale shift in our education priorities. With powerful stories and examples, Dr. Zhao lays out an aspirational goal for our schools: empower each child to create a distinctive path to greatness by reinforcing strengths and unleashing passions. Read this, and you’ll be inspired!
Most Likely to Succeed
Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools
Reach for Greatness is a must-read for the truly professional educator today. Common sense and expert practice are hard to find. Yong Zhao brings insight and intelligence in arguing for a dramatic shift of thinking about schooling that is fit for today’s world. This book helps give shape to a robust narrative sorely needed for every student.
Diocese of Parramatta
Dennis Shirley, Professor
Are you keen for the real depth and substance of an education that helps all students to reach their full potential but tired of empty promises for "personalized learning”? 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 so full of whimsy and humor 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.
Lynch School of Education
Reading a book by Yong Zhao is always an educational awakening! In Reach for Greatness, Zhao makes it clear that students are the potential for greatness within schools, not a problem our educational system needs to fix. This book challenges educators to re-examine the true purpose of education and commit to supporting students’ passions and cultivating their strengths. Personalizable education occurs when students are in the driver’s seat—their voices need to be heard, valued, and acted upon. Thanks to Yong, I am more determined than ever to ensure that students are not just along for the ride.Russell J. Quaglia, Author
Teacher Voice, Parent Voice, Student Voice, and Aspire High
Yong Zhao, ever the engaging education contrarian, delivers a compelling read that systematically outlines how to break away from educational systems that narrow, dictate, and sort learners, and readjust to focus on students’ unique skills, needs, and passions. It brings the role of education - in society and for the individual - to the forefront and, in doing so, has the reader reappraise its purpose. Moving beyond just a recommendation of personalization, Yong promotes the idea of education personalized by, not for, the leaner.Sean Slade, Senior Director of Global Outreach
Emily McCarren, Academy Principal
Yong Zhao 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 recognizing and cultivating the diverse strengths of our students for their own good and the good of society. 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!
Ross Hall, Director of Education; Founder
In Reach for Greatness, Yong Zhao makes the urgent case for empowering every young person to recognize their strengths, realize their talents, and follow their passions. Furthermore, his idea of empowerment is centered on the young person taking control of their own learning – a critical shift from the dominant model in which education is done to the student. Clear, compelling, evidence-based, and practical, this is an important book.
Ashoka; The Global Change Leaders