Current educational practices, particularly in the United States, instill conformity and compliance at a time when authority must be challenged, skepticism must thrive and our students must be imaginative, creative, empathic and passionately alive. First Do No Harm develops a comprehensive argument for the importance of progressive education in light of the world’s increasingly severe challenges.
Steve Nelson traces the origins of progressive education and argues that a traditional or conventional approach to education has dominated as a matter of political expediency, not good practice. The book provides an unsparing critique of current policy and practice, particularly the excesses of contemporary education reform. Using anecdotes from his many years as an educational leader, he makes the case in an engaging, colorful and accessible style.
“This is ultimately a hopeful book. All children deserve an education that will enliven their lives with joy and possibility and help them contribute to the betterment of society and our planet.” — from the introduction by Matt Damon
Since 1997 Steve Nelson has been a columnist for the Valley News. The following year he took on the role of Head of School at the Calhoun School, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In addition, he has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and worked as an administrator at Vermont Law School and Landmark College.
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First Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk develops a comprehensive argument for the importance of progressive education in light of the world's increasingly severe challenges.