The End of the Rainbow: How Educating for Happiness (Not Money) Would Transform Our Schools

Susan Engel. New Press, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59558-954-5
Engel, (Red Flags or Red Herrings?) the director of the Williams Program in Teaching at Williams College, offers an incisive prescription for America’s sagging educational system. She presents her argument with classroom scenarios that neatly serve to undermine the economic mind-set that currently plagues the K–12 curriculum, arguing that the implicit goal of education should not be to create financially successful adults but to instill an appreciation of the value of an education. The system should offer enthusiastic encouragement so that students will challenge themselves in new ways and become more deeply invested in their communities. Engel demonstrates how the No Child Left Behind Act and the Race to the Top program paradoxically quash students’ underlying desire to broaden their understanding or reach beyond what is required, creating an environment where “the school is more worried about how it is doing than how the children are doing.” Restoring a sense of enjoyment to learning requires drastic changes to the tortured pedagogy of test preparation. Although Engel’s recommendations go against current orthodoxy, she enters this extremely heated public debate with a noncombative tone that is not only refreshing but will illuminate her rationale to even the staunchest supporters of standardized testing. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/15/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-62097-016-4
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-62097-250-2
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