Kirkus Review of Know Power, Know Responsibility

Kirkus Reviews have completed and published their review of my book, Know Power, Know Responsibility.  I couldn’t be happier with the review.  I’m posting it here or read it at the Kirkus website linked here:

KIRKUS REVIEW

An education veteran offers a new vision for a holistic system of learning.

In this debut book, Miller presents a strategy for reinventing the learning environment that may be the first one inspired by the counterinsurgency tactics used in Afghanistan. The author argues that education reform requires the same kind of fundamental change to a “deeply entrenched and institutionalized” system. The work’s vision calls for replacing the current model of using sequential grades organized by age and following a standard curriculum—which Miller traces to an 1893 plan that established the current structure of education in the United States—with an individualized and project-based learning community in which students are responsible for setting their own goals under the guidance of mentors. The opening chapters explore the reasons for making changes to the system. Subsequent sections answer potential objections, present a case study of an ideal learning community in a fictional town, and guide readers through the process of implementing the author’s recommendations. Miller’s arguments are based on both personal experience and substantial research into the history of education and the psychology of learning (a bibliography is included). While he acknowledges that a fundamental overhaul of the education system may seem utopian, he makes a solid case for an individualized and comprehensive approach to the process that emphasizes learning rather than teaching. The case study is skillfully presented, and the guide to implementing systemic changes is thorough, thoughtful, and practical. Miller is a strong writer who assumes his readers are both open-minded and well intentioned (“You want to design a school model that results in every graduate having the traits, skills, and knowledge to thrive in the world of adults”), resulting in a compelling combination of optimism and realism. While the author’s dream of a completely transformed education system is one that will require the changing of minds and societal expectations, the work is a well-crafted and thought-provoking analysis of the structural shortcomings of the current designs of schools, classrooms, and assessments.

An effective, far-reaching argument for revamping the way students learn in the U.S.—Kirkus Reviews

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