Book Review                                      Online Exclusive


The Leader’s Guide to
21st Century Education

7 Steps for Schools and Districts

by Ken Kay and Valerie Greenhill, Pearson Education, New York, N.Y., 2013, 216 pp. with index, $34.99 softcover


In The Leader’s Guide to 21st Century Education: 7 Steps for Schools and Districts, Ken Kay and Valerie Greenhill, chief officers of Education Leader 21, offer a seven-step framework for implementing 21st Century learning.

The book helps school leaders organize and implement the 4 C’s of school change — critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. They incorporate the Common Core State Standards with 21st century learning skills.

Each chapter covers the seven-step model. Each chapter details key concepts of the step and uses real-life stories and lessons learned from a number of schools and districts throughout the United States that have launched 21st century education work. Critical questions are posed in each chapter and then there are reflections on student outcomes. Each chapter contains references to valuable resources such as videos and books on 21st century education.

The most urgent issue in education today is preparing our children for their future. Has your school adopted a 21st century model of education? What will students need to know and do in 2025? The authors engage the reader in these dialogues and offer constructive suggestions on today’s accountability systems, resistance to change and the differences between teaching skills and content. They offer successful ways to build support for the model from the community at large and all stakeholders.

The authors offer insights into how to engage educators to become deeply engaged in the collective inquiry and do action research to meet the needs of today’s students.

Kay and Greenhill clearly lay out an implementation plan with details, resources and professional development that will guide practitioners to ensure educational success for all students.

Reviewed by Diane E. Reed, associate professor and co-director, Graduate Educational Leadership Program, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, N.Y.

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