Hot Best Seller

A School of Our Own: The Story of the First Student-Run High School and a New Vision for American Education

Availability: Ready to download

A School of Our Own tells the remarkable story of the Independent Project, the first student-run high school in America. Founder Samuel Levin, a high school junior who had already achieved international fame for creating Project Sprout—the first farm-to-school lunch program in the United States—was frustrated with his own education and saw disaffection among his peers. In A School of Our Own tells the remarkable story of the Independent Project, the first student-run high school in America. Founder Samuel Levin, a high school junior who had already achieved international fame for creating Project Sprout—the first farm-to-school lunch program in the United States—was frustrated with his own education and saw disaffection among his peers. In response, he lobbied for and created a new school based on a few simple ideas about what kids need from their high school experience. The school succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations and went on to be featured in Newsweek, NPR, and the Washington Post. Since its beginnings in 2010, the Independent Project serves as a national model for inspiring student engagement. In creating his school, Samuel collaborated with Susan Engel, the noted developmental psychologist, educator, and author—and Samuel’s mother. A School of Our Own is their account of their life-changing year in education, a book that combines poignant stories, educational theory, and practical how-to advice for building new, more engaging educational environments for our children.


Compare

A School of Our Own tells the remarkable story of the Independent Project, the first student-run high school in America. Founder Samuel Levin, a high school junior who had already achieved international fame for creating Project Sprout—the first farm-to-school lunch program in the United States—was frustrated with his own education and saw disaffection among his peers. In A School of Our Own tells the remarkable story of the Independent Project, the first student-run high school in America. Founder Samuel Levin, a high school junior who had already achieved international fame for creating Project Sprout—the first farm-to-school lunch program in the United States—was frustrated with his own education and saw disaffection among his peers. In response, he lobbied for and created a new school based on a few simple ideas about what kids need from their high school experience. The school succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest expectations and went on to be featured in Newsweek, NPR, and the Washington Post. Since its beginnings in 2010, the Independent Project serves as a national model for inspiring student engagement. In creating his school, Samuel collaborated with Susan Engel, the noted developmental psychologist, educator, and author—and Samuel’s mother. A School of Our Own is their account of their life-changing year in education, a book that combines poignant stories, educational theory, and practical how-to advice for building new, more engaging educational environments for our children.

30 review for A School of Our Own: The Story of the First Student-Run High School and a New Vision for American Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonna Higgins-Freese

    Some memorable quotes: although we have found ways to tease out the components of thought: reasoning, problem solving, decision making, etc., the "best way to develop inquiry is to have lots of opportunities to become curious about things and to pursue that curiosity. The best way to learn how to take apart someone else's argument is for students to get into lots of discussions about interesting controversial topics, with enough guidance so that they are nudged to exchange views in a reasoned an Some memorable quotes: although we have found ways to tease out the components of thought: reasoning, problem solving, decision making, etc., the "best way to develop inquiry is to have lots of opportunities to become curious about things and to pursue that curiosity. The best way to learn how to take apart someone else's argument is for students to get into lots of discussions about interesting controversial topics, with enough guidance so that they are nudged to exchange views in a reasoned and open-minded way . . . the best way to get students t think about the scientific method is to ask them to critique the work of other scientists. argues that college gives students "a sense of intellectual community . . . the habit of backing up opinions with evidence, offering reasons, asking questions in order to learn more, and using written material to learn about things beyond one's immediate experience . . . the intellectual habits it instills" (120). "research shows that teenagers who spend time each week completely consumed in some challenging activity are the ones most likely to thrive over the long haul." (129). quoting Marlene Sandstrom: grit without passion becomes grout:) -- love. Of a student of immigrants who came from Mexico, whose mother was paralyzed from the waist down and used a wheelchair, that he succeeded b/c his grit was focused on something: becoming an immigration lawyer. Why one student did not succeed in the Independent Project School: "Sarah tended to believe that whatever impulses or thoughts seemed pressing to her on a given day should guide her actions. In contrast, the IP was asking students to make deliberate and considered decisions about what to work on and what goals to set themselves. Once they had made those decisions, there was enormous collective pressure on them to see their goals through to the end. IP sought self-governance; Sarah seemed drawn to self-indulgence. (154). "We educators spend far too much time trying to clear away the problems that kids face. When they think something is boring, we either raise the stakes for not learning it ("This is boring or hard, but if you don't do it, you'll fail/stay after school/get a low grade/not get into college") or we try to dress it up ("This is boring or hard, so we'll add some pretty pictures/let you make a collage/hand out candy after the test/let you spend five minutes watching YouTube if you do your homework" What we rarely do is sit with the problem and let them sit with it. Usually if a kid or group of kids is struggling with something, the struggle is meaningful. . . . Whatever math they didn't cover because [Sam] couldn't quickly or easily solve the problem of their resistance was replaced by something that had a much more lasting impact -- the experience of figuring out how to get unstuck." (161). Ironically, our society has increasingly prevented kids from feeling useful by protecting them from work. This impulse is well intentioned and reasonable. In order to develop their fullest capacities, kids need time to develop, both intellectually and emotionally. By and large, researchers have found that longer adolescence is linked to a higher level of personal development. The stereotype of the admirable kid who not only goes to school but has a job delivering papers or working at the corner grocery store to help his family glosses over the truth - kids who work too much are less likely to thrive academically. . . . there's no inherent reason why becoming more knowledgeable, more cultivated, better at thinking requires teenagers to do work that has no meaning outside of providing them with a good grade. Students shouldn't have to choose between being useful and opening their intellectual horizons. They can, instead, acquire skills and knowledge in the course of making their communities better.

  2. 4 out of 5

    A. Stampfli

    I've noticed a trend about books pertaining to the education of teenagers. Whether they're written by teenagers or adults, they all seem to subscribe to a boundless optimism about the abilities and work ethic of their subjects.This book is no different. The premise of this book is that when given the necessary resources and left to their own devices, teenagers will magically be inspired to learn. To prove this point, the author assembles a group of smart, high achieving, upper class teenagers an I've noticed a trend about books pertaining to the education of teenagers. Whether they're written by teenagers or adults, they all seem to subscribe to a boundless optimism about the abilities and work ethic of their subjects.This book is no different. The premise of this book is that when given the necessary resources and left to their own devices, teenagers will magically be inspired to learn. To prove this point, the author assembles a group of smart, high achieving, upper class teenagers and one problem teenager and for a semester the group learns by themselves with almost no assistance from the adults. See, the author says, if we did it, so can you! Why, even the edgy, tough kid succeeded! Only we can't do it. Not everyone has the privilege to live in a rural, low crime area with well to do parents and an already excellent high school. Some teenagers (in fact most teenagers) attend mediocre high schools, don't have high- paid parents, and lack the motivation drilled into the author and his classmates from birth to learn. Take my local high school, for example (which admittedly trends toward the bad end of the spectrum). Even though I live in an otherwise good town, the high school is atrocious. It's in the bottom twenty percent of high schools in the state. There was a shooting there in 2014, drug use is not uncommon, and our local state university refuses to admit anyone from there unless they take classes at the community college as well. I only narrowly missed having to go there. I guarantee you, this would not work there. If there was a group of six experimental students, at least two them would simply not show up. One of those kids would probably use their newfound free time to do drugs during school hours as well as after school. The other two or three would mess around, text, and do half arsed "projects" with little or no forethought. One of those kids might eventually decide to do something academic, like history or science, but I'm willing to bet that that kid would focus solely on their preferred topic (I know I would). The last kid, the one who got the whole experiment together, would desperately try to get the others to do their work and give himself a hernia at the age of 17. All in all, the only thing this book proves is that teenagers are some of the most idealistic creatures on the planet. While the author's work ethic and enthusiasm are admirable, this plan would not work for anyone but the most studious and disciplined students.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dewin Anguas Barnette

    Beautifully and succinctly written. I am so thankful the authors are getting the word out to a larger audience with this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Newell

    In this powerful book that is co-written by a high schooler who successfully started his own school and his mother who is a college professor, we see the very real struggles faced by teens in the archaic secondary school structure prevalent in most schools today. The 5 star rating is awarded because this story actually has a happy ending. The justifiably disgruntled high school junior does more than complain about his fate. He learns the system, challenges the system, and leads an alternative th In this powerful book that is co-written by a high schooler who successfully started his own school and his mother who is a college professor, we see the very real struggles faced by teens in the archaic secondary school structure prevalent in most schools today. The 5 star rating is awarded because this story actually has a happy ending. The justifiably disgruntled high school junior does more than complain about his fate. He learns the system, challenges the system, and leads an alternative that shows what school could be like if it were based on inquiry, curiosity, creativity, and collaboration. Radical.

  5. 5 out of 5

    M

    I absolutely love those who think outside of the box, and for that, 5 stars! I couldn't give this book 5 stars because I found the co-author mom to be a bit brash in a lot of the things she had to say. Two things that stand out are reprimanding one of her son's teachers, and calling one of the project's students a failure to the program, among other things--especially disappointing since she is a psychologist. Kudos to Sam for having a vision and implementing it! I loved learning about the Indep I absolutely love those who think outside of the box, and for that, 5 stars! I couldn't give this book 5 stars because I found the co-author mom to be a bit brash in a lot of the things she had to say. Two things that stand out are reprimanding one of her son's teachers, and calling one of the project's students a failure to the program, among other things--especially disappointing since she is a psychologist. Kudos to Sam for having a vision and implementing it! I loved learning about the Independent Project and glad to hear it's still going. This would have been right up my alley as a teenager who struggled to manage the traditional High School environment long before the days of options (e.g., on line, home school, School of Our Own).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zakiyya Ismail

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike Nicholson

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jakob Jørgensen

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shauna

  10. 5 out of 5

    None Ya

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paperadventures

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Plourd

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Keradee

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  18. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  19. 4 out of 5

    Grey Beaudin

  20. 4 out of 5

    aimlesslegs

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alma Marhamati

  22. 5 out of 5

    Traci

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kaara (books_and_beabulls)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ginger Spickler

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robert Daniel

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne Mary

  29. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Philip Grabowskii

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...