An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students

An Ethic of Excellence Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students Drawing from his own remarkable experience as a veteran classroom teacher still in the classroom Ron Berger gives us a vision of educational reform that transcends standards curriculum and instruc

  • Title: An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students
  • Author: RonBerger Howard Gardner Deborah Meier Kate Montgomery
  • ISBN: 9780325005966
  • Page: 481
  • Format: Paperback
  • Drawing from his own remarkable experience as a veteran classroom teacher still in the classroom , Ron Berger gives us a vision of educational reform that transcends standards, curriculum, and instructional strategies He argues for a paradigm shift a schoolwide embrace of an ethic of excellence A master carpenter as well as a gifted teacher, Berger is guided by a crDrawing from his own remarkable experience as a veteran classroom teacher still in the classroom , Ron Berger gives us a vision of educational reform that transcends standards, curriculum, and instructional strategies He argues for a paradigm shift a schoolwide embrace of an ethic of excellence A master carpenter as well as a gifted teacher, Berger is guided by a craftsman s passion for quality, describing what s possible when teachers, students, and parents commit to nothing less than the best But Berger s not just idealistic, he s realistic he tells exactly how this can be done, from the blackboard to the blacktop to the school boardroom.

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    1. RonBerger Howard Gardner Deborah Meier Kate Montgomery

      RonBerger Howard Gardner Deborah Meier Kate Montgomery Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students book, this is one of the most wanted RonBerger Howard Gardner Deborah Meier Kate Montgomery author readers around the world.

    468 thoughts on “An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students”

    1. It was difficult rating this book. In some ways, I feel bad giving it an average rating since it has such a positive goal.I loved the intentions of the author -- to not just propose better ways to educate young people, but also to redefine education as about something more and very different than standardized testing. His insights into creating a supportive culture, the importance of refining drafts, of deriving work from models of excellence, and many other points were all enlightening and usef [...]

    2. I enjoyed the stories of this teacher's experiences in the classroom. The different routines that he has set up gave me ideas for how to approach my own projects this year. My overall impression was that the author is a compassionate person who cares about educating children and that his big heart goes a long way to bringing out the best in his students.

    3. The best thing I can say about this book is that it's a quick readI read it in an afternoon. The premise of it is spot-on: if we want students to be excellent, we have to expect excellence and instill in them a work ethic that will create excellence. But most of the book is stories from Berger's classroom -- cool things his students have done. The book lacks direction, and the "method" to his success is simply, "My whole school expects this. These kids have been expected to work hard since presc [...]

    4. I really enjoyed this book on what makes for bringing a culture of excellence into the classroom. I thought Berger's stories were inspirational, and loved many of his ideas. Like many stories on great teaching though, his methods are virtually impossible to use in a big sense because his school basically allows him to teach however he wants. At most public high schools, teachers would have to maintain a certain pace while covering a large curriculum. However, I do like his technique of peer revi [...]

    5. While this may seem petty, the inconsistent capitalization problem of deaf versus Deaf (a four letter, grade 3 vocabulary word) made me question the author's understanding of the word "excellence" in conjunction with education. I was able to place that on hold until I learned that my teaching of Tom Sawyer could be enhanced if I just heated rocks, allowed children to play in tunnels, and discussed the inner workings of spelunking because certainly I could understand how all of that would increas [...]

    6. What does excellent education look like? This. It looks just like this. This is maybe the most important, useful book I've read about formal education. It's challenging, and inspiring, and it will make you cry in equal parts awe and frustration.

    7. Wonderfully inspiring. Having met Ron, and seeing his passion firsthand, I could hear his voice as I read this. His ideas of authentic learning experiences for our students should be spread and shouted from the mountaintops. Thanks for your years of dedication, Ron. You are a master in our field.

    8. A good reminder that quality is better than quantity. Much of the main points had been part of a week long PD I did last summer, so it was a good refresher.

    9. Teachers are benevolent narcissists, and I suppose they have to be in order to best serve students: what can I take from Berger's book that I can immediately deploy in my classroom, my context, for my students? How is all of this discussion of school culture, an ethic of quality, projects, portfolios, critiques relevant to me? As I read An Ethic of Excellence, as others did, I kept talking back to Berger, and he often anticipated the doubters, the skeptics, the businessmen in the Afterword who w [...]

    10. Berger asked me these important questions in his dense and inspiring little book: what is the ethic in your classroom, Pam? What contributes to the successes in your room to cultivate a love of beauty, craftsmanship, passion? What prevents this culture from developing and thriving? And perhaps most importantly, he asks me, how do you know what you have truly done for students? I have to admit that these questions have sometimes haunted me in the past--I CHOSE teaching from an array of many other [...]

    11. Loved it. Love the teaching philosophy that says you can't build (academic, social, artistic) confidence on hot air - you have to get kids to do really excellent work, and be proud of it, and appreciate the long and deep drafting process as necessary to learning. Love Berger's analysis of the ways public education is not like your average capitalist enterprise, and why measuring outcomes as if it were is not only destructive, but silly. Especially love reading about the units of study in all the [...]

    12. This book by Ron Berger is for any teacher and administrator in a school looking to improve quality assessments for students. Berger stresses the importance of student portfolios and the importance of publishing work. Student work could be published on line or in class for others to see. Berger states that it lends importance to the student's sense of purpose with regard to the work. He also states that it is important to display student work. He also feels at the secondary level it is important [...]

    13. Anyone who is at all involved in or concerned about education in our country should read this book. It made me depressed at times wondering how this could be done at the schools in my city, but it still inspired me more. As Berger tells a group of teachers he works with in the book, you have to start with "small steps." This book is a great response to all those quick fixes to American education that are proposed each year. More than teachers reading this, however (since there's a lot in it that [...]

    14. Thought-provoking, tender and interesting. Although the book looks at one particular teacher of elementary school (primary for UK teachers), his experience of sharing approaches and ideas is extensive, and he has given guidance and support in how to understand and use his 'toolbox' for creating excellence. What is particularly interesting is his rejection of complying with all the standards and norms imposed by external testing and his approach to mixed ability sets. I also think the multiple dr [...]

    15. I am very invested in Ron Berger's ideals. My children currently attend an Expeditionary Learning school that patterns itself after Berger's culture of excellence. After reading this book I am even more thankful that we are part of such a culture. If it were possible that all schools could be so lucky to have such ethics of excellence, our world would drastically change for the better. This book may present ideals that seem unattainable, but I see them work in my children's classrooms everyday.

    16. This was required summer reading from my new principal. It's good, but I don't think classroom teachers are its target audience. I got a few good ideas for things I might do in my classroom, like critiques, but it read more like a memoir of Berger's work at a truly amazing-sounding elementary school in Massachusetts and his consultancy work in some less amazing schools. It's something policymakers and schoolboards populated by people who have misguided ideas about education should read. I hope t [...]

    17. The author of this book is a "rock star" of Expeditionary Learning. I like the way he views school, teaching, and learning and am so glad that my girls are in an EL school. I especially liked how he valued the impact of a school's culture and community. The girls recently had a reading celebration during school which the parents were invited to attend. 23 out of 24 kids had at least one, if not both parents in attendance (and the school director and his wife came in to read with the last kiddo). [...]

    18. What a wonderful premise: building a culture of craftsmanship with students. It seems to be both "pro-student" and "pro-teacher", a winning combination. I like that Berger is a carpenter. I often use the analogy of coming to class with your tools, just like a carpenter needs a hammer, the student needs a pencil (well, I like the students to have a minimum of 4 pencils. If we are to be ready to work together, let's just "do it". would be a wonderful prof dev forour school.

    19. This book really challenged my thinking about teaching and what I can do better to engage students. Berger's focus on quality work seems like something that would be so self-evident to teachers; and yet when I looked hard at much of my own practices, I had to admit that much of what I did was encouraging a quasi-kind of busy work rather than quality work built on practices of student and teacher critiques, thoughtful revision, and projects that really try to engage learners.

    20. This book was inspiring, but alas frustrating as all teaching books are. What people can do in an elementary school is just NOT feasible in a HS. I have 6 times the number of kids these elementary teachers have. I see them for 1 hour a day. I can't create change like they can. BUT his story is inspiring, the toolboxes are jam packed and I did pull out some very usable material for my new school year. I'd recommend it. It was a good read. =D

    21. I ordered this book after seeing "Austin's Butterfly" on Vimeo last year. I understand some of the other reviewers saying that it lacked "method " but with all due respect, this is a philosophy and a culture that is built year after year. Read the book and watch his videos. If you're looking for magic bullets, this is not the book for you.

    22. Ron Berger writes a great reminder of what learning in the classroom should be. Because he is a classroom teacher and has chosen to remain a classroom teacher throughout his career, his words resonate with other teachers because he's faced some of the same challenges all teachers face, like limited resources.

    23. "Students may have different potentials, but, in general, the attitudes and achievements of students are shaped by the culture around them. Schools need to consciously shape their cultures to be places where it's safe to care, where it's cool to care. They need to reach out to family and neighborhood cultures to support this." (pp 34-35).Other sections:Genuine ResearchCritiqueAfterward

    24. Ron Berger explains to us what education could be when teachers, schools, and communities aren't limited by politicians, standardized tests, and rigid curriculum. His emphasis on revisions and quality work are useful for teachers in any setting. He's truly an inspiration to anyone in this profession.

    25. This book has some good info for sure. I like his idea of how education should work, and reasons why - for the most part - it doesn't. But I would have liked to see more about HOW he does what he does. It didn't give very much information, imo, for teachers who want to follow his model but don't have the necessary items (or time) for implementation.

    26. Very inspirational! I read this book as an assigned text in an education class, and it is a refreshing, stark contrast to our other text. Ron Berger doesn't teach at an elite or wealthy private school, but his small community makes the most of what they have utilizing project-based learning, portfolios, and a rigorous drafting process to achieve an "excellent" result for all.

    27. I actually haven't finished this yet. But what the 60% that I have read so far is wonderful. Inspiring. Beautiful. It's a pean to project-based learning and portfolio assessment. I had to stop reading it because it was just too painful to contemplate it in contrast to my current educational environment.

    28. An essential read for any educator who really wants to share joy with children through learning. An inspiring reminder that teaching with purpose and excellence can be done regardless of the circumstances.

    29. This pretty much sums up why I have my daughter in the school she's in -- what education could be. There were even a few moments when I got pretty teary about it. As my daughter's principal told me, I've drunk the Kool-Aid.

    30. Given the right motivation/experiences all students can be successful. This book describes how to use real-life experiences in the classroom to design meaningful lessons for students. It was a quick read, and it was more like a novel documenting one teacher's methods in the classroom.

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