Book Reviews

Time to Learn

by Christopher Gabrieli and Warren Goldstein, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif., 2008, 304 pp., $24.95 hardcover

Time to Learn: How a New School Schedule is Making Smarter Kids, Happier Parents, and Safer Neighborhoods illustrates schools that have expanded their daily or year-long schedules to accommodate needs for additional learning time. In the process, these schools have recreated opportunities for extracurricular activities, homework, physical activity, teacher collaboration and time to learn, resulting in increased academic achievement.

Christopher Gabrieli, co-chair of the National Center on Time and Learning, and Warren Goldstein, chair of the history department at University of Hartford, have written a highly readable book whose chapters can be tackled sequentially or out of order, based on one’s interest in a particular topic.

The changing face of education demands not just a cosmetic makeover but sweeping transformation. The development of a new school schedule that breaks from our historically entrenched school day is bold and costly, but it also comes with many rewards.

Whether one’s goal is to meet annual measurable objectives as part of adequate yearly performance or create safe places for children to ease the minds of working parents, a new school day can be a creative and practical solution.

Time to Learn is a handy reference for administrators and school board members interested in making a case for extending the school day or school year, providing 13 chapters of examples of schools and districts that have achieved such change. It also covers the nuts and bolts of leading such a transformation.

Reviewed by Marilyn H. King, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, Bozeman Public Schools, Bozeman, Mont.