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The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work [Paperback]

By Linda Darling-Hammond (Author)
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Item description for The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work by Linda Darling-Hammond...

Winner of AERA Outstanding Book Award in 1998
"While she recognizes the necessity for school reform and the complexity of implementing it, Darling-Hammond remains optimistic that systemic changes to ensure access to a meaningful education for all children are possible. Her book is positive and hopeful and serves as a fascinating account of American education and its promise of 'the right to learn' for all children."
--Washington Post
"Darling-Hammond's central claim is well worth listening to. She argues that American students do so poorly by comparison with students in other industrialized countries not because we don't give them enough work, but because our teaching is less thoughtful, and because we are obsessed with bureaucratic processes rather than educational outcomes."
--New York Times Book Review
One of the nation's most respected educators provides a vision of exceptional, learner-centered schools and describes the policies and practices that are needed to create these schools on a system-wide basis.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   394
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1.2"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 17, 2001
Publisher   Jossey-Bass
ISBN  0787959421  
ISBN13  9780787959425  

Availability  0 units.

More About Linda Darling-Hammond

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, and executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. She lives in Stanford, California with her husband and three children.

Linda Darling-Hammond currently resides in New Rochelle, in the state of New York. Linda Darling-Hammond was born in 1951 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Stanford University Stanford University, USA School of Education, Stan.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Education Theory > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Policy
4Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Education > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work?

A wrong edtion  Mar 10, 2006
Sorry, I have sent this book back (feb/22/06) to you because the one I recieved was an early edition (1997), not that I have bought.
And so, I am waiting or for a correct edition or the money back in my creditcard.
Legislators, Please Read this Book!!!  Feb 23, 2002
Educators, are you looking for a book to stretch your mind and leave you thinking for hours, possibly days? Are you looking for a book to offer ideas on how to reform your school from within? If your answer is yes, try diving into Linda Darling Hammonds book titled The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work. One warning though, don't try to read this book alone. You will need other educators to plow through its intense thought provoking pages to build a deeper understanding of what Hammond is saying. As you read have a highlighter or sticky tabs in hand because you will want to mark the many well articulated ideas that LDH mentions. She has a way of pointing out the deep roots of problems in education but also offers ideas on how policies can change to improve our nations schools.

One phrase that caught my eye early on in the book is this one regarding school accountability; "A vicious cycle is launched: the more paperwork teachers are asked to do, the less time they have for teaching; the less time for teaching, the less learning occurs; the less learning, the more the demand for paperwork intended to ensure that teachers are teaching as the bureaucracy insists they should."(p.43) She says here that
the demand for more paperwork which was intended to improve school accountability in reality undermines productivity because it takes time away from planning and teaching well thought out lessons.

Hammond believes that we should strive to teach for understanding more so than covering a lot of curriculum. She strongly believes in the role of professional development in creating depth of understanding in our educators. The chapter that fascinated me the most was on Staffing Schools for Teaching and Learning. She offers several ideas to create smaller class sizes, give teachers more time for planning with their colleagues, as well as taking time for teachers to observe one another. These ideas occur through restructuring the schools and having every certified person in the building teaching at some point in their day and by creating teams that are responsible for a smaller group of students. I felt this could help our site teams think creatively when trying to come up with ways to make class sizes smaller.

Research done by Hammond is included in this book as she searched out "positive deviants" to the difficulties facing public education. Positive deviants meaning schools that found ways to be successful within the same constraints as other
schools. She uses four schools in New York to give examples of schools that are working for creating learning environments that are effective in an age of schools striving to flee the grasp that the factory model of education has traditionally held for
much of the twentieth century. This research is helpful because once again it gives you ideas on how to try things differently to achieve success.

One thing that has been a continual difficulty for me with this book is my lack of ability to retain what Hammond is saying without having to refer back to the book. I am not sure if the reason is because it is so packed with heavy information or if my brain is just on overload by the craziness of the amount I am responsible for in my own classroom, and trying to complete a graduate program. I look forward to our discussions in our literature groups hoping that they will lend some clarity or direction with the book but it is such a mass of information. Perhaps if the book was read slower allowing more time to
digest what it says and then try putting some of the ideas into immediate action, I would be able to retain more of what I am reading. Perhaps this quote hits the nail on the head; "Active learning reflects the old saying, `I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand." (p. 107) This is a book that will stay nearby so that I can refer back to it, recommend it to others, put its ideas into action and strive toward the belief that all children have the right to learn! It is also an inspiration for educators to stretch ourselves to create a public education system that matches the needs of our time.

This Is The Tree Falling In The Forest. Do You Hear It?  Dec 29, 2000
I am immensely impressed by Ms. Darling-Hammond's book. She has presented an incredible about of research and information and done it in an articulate defense of reform--for the student's sake, and ultimately, for everyone's sake.

She begins by setting it all in perspective, outlining different waves that have swept over public education over the last fifty years. Later, she identifies nine related components that serve to buttress her reform agenda: active in-depth learning organized around common goals; a focus on authentic performance; attention to student development; appreciation of diversity; collaborative learning; a collective perspective within the school; structures for caring; support for democratic learning; and connections to families and to the community.

It sounds obvious, but her clarion writing deserves our attention. Listen to this example: "To engender serious learning, schools must dramatically increase the intellectual opportunities they offer, becoming more focused on developing understanding and competence...becoming more learning-centered as well as learner-centered (p. 32)."

She adeptly sets the double conundrum that many teacher currently face: How can test scores be raised adequately in the while in the clasp of financial, cultural, bureaucratic, systemic chains? But she provides viable solutions.

She explains how to have learning standards without standardization; she calls for increasing students' opportunities-to-learn, making for actual democratic procedures in the classroom; she asserts how schools can re-structure to allow for identifiable learning. This is powerful stuff.

So study this book, and then re-visit it. It's worthy of close scrutiny and it's worthy of action. It needs to be placed into the hands of anyone who cares about education, works within the system, or has children attending public schools. It clearly provides the necessary blueprint for educational reform, as advertised.

It's About Equity!  May 21, 2000
If you want to get angry, read this book. It's a searing indictment of the state of education in our country. We can guarantee poor and minority children the right to state-of-the-art prisons (especially in California), but we can't guarantee them the right to a qualified teacher. LDH does a great job of tracing the historical reasons for public education, and it wasn't to educate a diverse population for living in a democratic society. The have-nots from the past are the have-nots from the present, and a meaningful and useful education is at the core of the disparity. Our country must address these issues to remain globally competitive. LDH establishes how technological and globalization forces makes it imperative that we educate our youth.

This is a data-packed book and a must-read. However, if you are happy with the status-quo, you may want to avoid it.

Darling-Hammond offers solutions worth considering.  Mar 10, 1999
Darling-Hammond not only identifies some of the problems in the education system today, but she also offers some solutions that merit consideration. She contends that the bureaucracy of education has worked against many students, resulting in their not learning. Policies, practices, and skills must be changed if education is to be reformed. Some of the changes discussed include decision-making which involves teachers, restructuring time in the schools, organizing staff into teams, creating smaller schools, using authentic assessments, providing opportunities for continuing professional development, and creating standards for student learning. Darling-Hammond describes some of the inequalities that still exist in schools today, such as a lack of funding, resources, and quality teachers. Major policy changes are necessary to improve the schools, and these policies must be considered together with the practices for change to be effective.

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