Title An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Subtitle How Radical Changes Can Spark Student Excitement and Success
Author Yong Zhao, Trina E. Emler, Anthony Snethen, Danqing Yin
ISBN 9780807763391
List price USD 29.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 160
Book size 152 x 228 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher Teachers College Press (Eurospan Group)
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“Challenging the status quo of prescribed curriculum, standardized accountability, ‘one-size-fits-all’ teaching and rigid school structures, the authors offer a vision of what a modern education could be. Using case studies and illustrative stories, the authors paint tangible and compelling pictures of innovation in action. If you are an educator or policymaker who believes that education can (and should) be more authentic, personalized, product-oriented, and entrepreneurial, this book is for you.”
—Jay McTighe, consultant and author


“Zhao has, again, written an education book that one cannot put down. He has a profound ability to describe how the world is changing, and that schools should as well. He brings his unique international perspective along with a deep understanding of what great schools look like and how others can learn from them.”

—Larry Rosenstock, CEO, High Tech High


“In An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste, Yong Zhao provides both a cornucopia of optimism and a set of concrete pathways for major rebuilding of the K–12 learning experience. He shows how ordinary educators have done extraordinary things at schools just like yours. This is a must-read for school teams seeking seeds of proven success that will ignite truly transformative change.”

Grant Lichtman, internationally recognized thought leader and author


Discover how education innovations can produce astonishing results in student success both in and out of school. The educators featured in this book were motivated by the conviction that even the best status quo education was not serving current student needs. They responded with radical changes that tap into recent ideas about educational transformation: personalization, student-driven curriculum, student agency and co-ownership of learning direction, school-sheltered student entrepreneurship, student-led civic projects, creativity education, and product-oriented learning. Readers will find carefully researched and detailed stories of on-the-ground models where students learn empathy, cooperation, creativity, and self-management, alongside rigorous academics. Together these stories provide insight into the process of innovation and the elements that can make change successful. An Education Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste will inspire educators in ordinary situations to take extraordinary actions toward a new paradigm of education in which all students can flourish.

Book Features:

  • Real-life stories of students, teachers, school principals, and school networks that have made radical innovations in education.
  • Cutting-edge innovations that took place in a broad range of schools—public and private, elementary to high school.
  • Specific strategies and tactics educators can use to counter preconceived or real concerns that prevent them from taking action to change.



Introduction • Entrepreneurship and Personalizable Education • “Yes, but . . .” • “Yes, and . . .” • Plan of the Book

1. Radical Changes Led by Students • A Great School Invented by a Group of Unhappy Students • The Independent Project in Practice • Children Are Capable • Students Desire Autonomy: Deschooling Education • Get Out of the Way

2. Radical Changes in the Classroom • Teaching Without a RudderThe Teacher Who Used to Hate SchoolThe Teacher Who Accidentally Created a MiracleA 19-Hour Drive Starts a Global Enterprising EducatorChallenge the Status Quo

3. Radical Changes in Broken Schools • A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to WasteChallenging the Grammar of SchoolingLearning Entrepreneurship Skills with a Safety NetOut with the Old, in with the New: Taking on the Challenges

4. Radical Changes in Successful Schools • New Measures of SuccessWhy Good Schools ChangeHow Good Schools ChangeA Challenge for All Good Schools

5. Radical Changes Within Networks of Schools • Banding Together to Leverage ChangeThe Annesley Remaking The Rudolph Group: Networked to InnovateThe Prisoner’s Dilemma and Possible SolutionsChallenging the Education Norm of Isolated Institutions

6. Radical Changes from Outside • Support for Students and Teachers from Real-World ScholarsBringing Entrepreneurship to the ClassroomThe Magic Is Not in the MoneyWhat WorksCollaboration Is KeyStudent-Centered, Student-RunWhat Happens When Teachers Say, “Yes, and”

113. “Yes, and . . .” • Characteristics of Changes and Change Makers Needed in EducationThe ChangesChange Can Happen AnywhereCharacteristics That Spark IgnitionCreating a Culture of “Yes, and”



About the Authors

About the Authors:

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and a professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy at Victoria University in Australia.

Trina E. Emler is a doctoral candidate and a multidisciplinary research assistant at the University of Kansas and an international education consultant for YEE Education.

Anthony Snethen is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas and a middle school English teacher.

Danqing Yin is a doctoral student and a first-year experience instructor at the University of Kansas.

Target Audience:

This book is useful for an educators, policymakers and school teams seeking seeds of proven success that will ignite truly transformative change.

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