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The Unfinished Revolution: Learning, Human Behavior, Community, and Political Paradox


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If you believe it is possible for communities, schools, parents, and businesses to come together around helping all children become lifelong learners, then read this book. In The Unfinished Revolution, authors John Abbott and Terry Ryan argue that the so-called crisis in education is really a crisis in childhood and that the unit of change is not the school but rather the larger community. Drawing on their experiences of working with schools, community leaders, researchers, parents, and business leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, the authors show how current models of education—based on ideas about learning from the industrial age—cannot by themselves bring out the full potential of all children. They maintain that the schools we have inherited from the industrial age are structured to develop a mass of students who, at best, are equipped with basic skills and the ability to follow orders—but only a small cadre of creative, lifelong learners.

Table of contents


The Economy and the Learning Needs of Children

Learning and Schooling Are Not Synonymous

About the authors

John Abbott is president of the 21st Century Learning Initiative, a transnational association of researchers and practitioners. He was a teacher of geography and religious studies at Manchester Grammar School, headmaster of Alleyne's School in Stevenage, chairman of the Royal Geographical Society's Expeditionary Advisory Centre, and director of Education 2000, with nine community-wide projects in the United Kingdom. Over the last six years he has lectured around the world on new understandings about learning. He and his family lived in Reston, Virginia, from 1995 to 1999.

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