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While reformers and policymakers focus on achievement gaps, testing, and accountability, millions of students mentally and emotionally disengage from learning and many gifted teachers leave the field. Ironically, today’s schooling is damaging the single most essential component to education—the joy of learning

How do we recognize the “wounds” caused by outdated schooling policies? How do we heal them? In her controversial new book, education writer and critic Kirsten Olson brings to light the devastating consequences of an educational approach that values conformity over creativity, flattens student’s interests, and dampens down differences among learners. Drawing on deeply emotional stories, Olson shows that current institutional structures do not produce the kinds of minds and thinking that society really needs. Instead, the system tends to shame, disable, and bore many learners.  Most importantly, she presents the experiences of wounded learners who have healed and shows what teachers, parents, and students can do right now to help themselves stay healthy.

“We need to replace industrial schooling with more genuinely caring and humane ways of teaching, and Olson clearly shows us why and how to do it.” 
—Ron Miller, Editor, Education Revolution magazine

“Wounded by School is not merely a technical repair manual for our broken schools, it is a guide to how to revive their purpose, their spirit, and their hope.” 
—David H. Rose, Founding Director, CAST (the Center for Applied Special Technology)

“Kirsten Olson’s book is refreshingly unlike the general run of sludge I associate with writing about pedagogy. I can’t imagine anyone not being better for reading this book—Twice!” 
—John Taylor Gatto, author of Dumbing Us Down

“I invite anyone invested in American public schools (and I hope that’s all of us) to read this book and join hands in building schools that help every student not only heal but thrive.” 
—Terry Chadsey, Associate Director, Center for Courage & Renewal

“Olson questions the appropriateness of school structures, norms, rituals, and routines that were set in place—cast in stone more than a century ago—that now seem dangerously anachronistic and alienating.  And she asks us to consider the ways in which we might create more cherishing and inclusive school cultures that would incite learning and love.” 
—From the Foreword by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Harvard Graduate School of Education

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