A Book for Changemaker Education

Ashoka Start Empathy

Next week I’ll be joining eight other educators from across the country to put together a book on “Changemaker Education.” Ashoka is putting this on as part of their #StartEmpathy project. I’m really excited about this because I love working with teachers as much as I love working with students, and thrive off of collaborative spaces to share ideas and spark new projects. I am fascinated by how educators make sense of the world through working with students on a daily basis and how we can transform schools into sites of community action and leadership.

I’ve been surveying my colleagues and students, hoping to represent more broadly the multifaceted ways we all approach education. I am also feeling self-conscious and nervous about speaking “for” educators in a format as definitive as a book; even though I have identified as an “educator” for almost 8 years now, I still feel like I don’t “know enough” to speak from a place of authority. The process is being facilitated by BookSprints, which helps people put books together in a 5-day intensive setting. I’m grateful for the opportunity to articulate and clarify my ideas in community with educators from Changemaker Schools across the US, and will post further updates.


>>Changemaker Book Project Overview from Ashoka

The world is changing faster than ever, and we need our education systems to keep up. How do we ensure that our children grow up with the skills to succeed, the confidence to lead and innovate, and the empathy to make our world a better place?

To empower our students, we must first empower our teachers to lead the change we wish to see in our schools. Ashoka has recruited 10 leading educators from Ashoka’s Changemaker Schools network to write a book on Changemaker Education: what it is, why it is important, and how EVERY teacher in America can work within their classrooms, schools, and systems to transform education.

Empathy isn’t just an add-on or a “nice-to have”: it’s critical to creating the kind of conditions in which real learning can take place. However, focusing on students alone is not enough. Improving teacher efficacy and retention demands that we treat teachers with the same level of trust, agency and understanding they afford their students as well as provide them with the resources and creative ideas to be successful.

Ultimate goals for this book:

  1. Define Changemaker Education and make for case for why it’s essential now.

  2. Deconstruct what it is into easily digestible and actionable categories.

  3. Include specific examples and stories to bring color and texture to the theory.

  4. Highlight common barriers and obstacles and suggest ways to take steps forward, one step at a time.

  5. Highlight innovations/best practices happening in schools, potentially including sections around “parents”, “best practices,” “community time” teacher training, etc.

  6. Provide practical tips and ideas on how to instill empathy in children, preparing them for the world ahead.

  7. Provide actions and resources that can be applied by any teacher and/or administrator in the classroom and beyond.

  8. Distribute the book to teachers across the United States.

If you want to support this project, please donate here. Share in the comments: What is changemaker education and why is it important? What would the world look like if everyone grew up with that kind of education?


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