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Ignite the Fire
A Classroom Culture of Meaning, Passion and Purpose
By Mary Ruth McGinn and Peggy Pastor
About the Book:
Many educational practices have become so widely established and standardized that we have stopped questioning their efficacy. For learning to promote life-long growth, a shift in the institutional mindset of education nationwide is necessary. This book suggests a way of thinking about teaching that would interrupt the status quo by proposing innovative ideas and solutions in school.
Recognizing, encouraging and implementing social and emotional culture as an integral part of school has profound implications for the future of education.
Given the choice, we all would wish to be in a classroom where we are encouraged to do and to be our very best. Each of us has experienced various classroom cultures in our lives, some in which we have thrived, some completely unremarkable and others that affected us in profound ways we are still trying to comprehend and process as we age.
We want our educational system to be a ground for creating the “common good” and the “pursuit of happiness”. While the ultimate success of students varies, the charge of the school is to provide opportunity for everyone. We need classrooms that are responsive to those within them. This is done with an eye to the quality of life for each and the benefit of all.
Ignite the Fire offers a perspective on education derived from decades in the classroom. It documents concrete techniques and strategies utilized to foster a culture for all to thrive. It allows a view into the hearts, minds, joys and struggles of students on their school journey as they navigate the landscape of learning.
Making classroom culture the central focus of instruction would be as world changing to education as the discovery of fire to humans. It would enable academic achievement and open a path to fulfillment. Our mission as educators is to share what we know and believe about cultivating classroom climate and to inspire change. It is time to ignite this fire.
Release Date: Late 2024
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