From Now On
|Vol 11|No 8|May|2002|
Please feel free to e-mail this article to a friend, a principal, a parent, a colleague, a teacher librarian, a college professor, a poet, a magician, a vendor, an artist, a juggler, a student, a news reporter or anyone you think might enjoy it. Other transmissions not permitted.
Learning by Heart is almost wistful in tone as Barth approaches the end of his career and the writing of what he thinks may be his last book. While optimistic and full of passion, the book suggests an approach to school reform that is at odds with current trends.
The word "courage" came to mind as I read through Barth's words. The phrase "voice in the wilderness" followed shortly. I was often moved, inspired and challenged by his questions, his wishes and his dreams for children, for teachers and for schools.
But I also found the book saddening and maddening at times as I contrasted prevailing practices with the approaches outlined by Barth. One of the most impressive chapters comes at the end as Barth outlines the choices facing a school intent on creating a vision.
Vision building or buying can be a pretty silly exercise that often does little to improve learning or the quality of life, we discover.
This trap becomes apparent as Barth humorously lists and portrays the approaches available to decide upon a vision:
Barth's favorite? The last on the list.
Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
Copyright Policy: © 2002, Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved. Materials published in From Now On may be duplicated in hard copy format if unchanged in format and content for educational, nonprofit school district and university use only and may also be sent from person to person by e-mail. This copyright statement must be included. All other uses, transmissions and duplications are prohibited unless permission is granted expressly. Showing these pages remotely through frames is not permitted.