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Educating for Human Greatness
Lynn Stoddard

Full electronic book on CD-ROM $14.95.

In this wise and perceptive book, veteran public school teacher/administrator Lynn Stoddard surveys the current state of public education in America and concludes that our current NCLB-driven practices are terribly out of balance.

By emphasizing the standardization (and in some places, the scripting) of curriculum we have managed to make the personal and social growth of students increasingly irrelevant in our singleminded pursuit of content and test scores. The dilemma is well expressed by Lu Pilgrim who report that her teacher-students are asking

How does a teacher maintain an interesting, supportive, and developmentally appropriate environment that encourages students to build on what they know and become enthusiastic, independent lifelong learners, when the requirements from federal and state entities often prescribe and mandate rigid, “same size fits all” curriculum to prepare for tests that now begin as early as three years old?
Stoddard's solution is to have parents and educators begin by realizing that standardization in education is neither possible or effective. Only then can they focus on creating schools that truly educate for human greatness. To create such schools Stoddard proposes that parents, teachers, administrators and school board members keep six cardinal principles constantly in mind:

  • Value Positive Human Diversity and Cherish Every Student’s Uniqueness

  • Draw Out and Develop Each Child’s Latent Talents

  • Respect the Autonomy of the Individual by Restoring Freedom and Responsibility

  • Invite Inquiry, Curiosity, and Hunger for Knowledge in the Classroom

  • Support Professionalism as Teachers Live by these Principles

  • Parents and Teachers Unite to Help Children Grow in Human Greatness

Educating for Human Greatness deserves to become a strong voice at the table of our current debate on the future of American education in the context of personal, social, and national goals. It should be read by every parent who really cares about the lopsided education that their children now receive; by every teacher and administrator who puts students first in their professional lives; and by every school board member who wants schools to be places where student development is a reality, not just a slogan.

Lynn Stoddard is a veteran of teaching and parenting. While shepherding his own large flock of twelve children through the public schools of Utah, he was employed for 36 years as an elementary teacher and principal. He now writes and lectures on the urgent need to design a new system of public education based on ancient wisdom and modern research.

Psychology Press/Holistic Education Press
Box 328, Brandon, VT 05733-0328