TALK 2016-17 Calhoun Performing Arts Series Presents Steve Nelson: Book Discussion & Signing

Monday, June 5, 7pm – MARY LEA JOHNSON PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

First Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk might be considered the culmination of Steve’s 19-year tenure as Head of School at Calhoun–an encapsulation of his philosophy about progressive education, its practice in the classroom, and its importance in light of the world’s increasingly severe challenges. Guest Moderator: Denny Taylor, publisher, Garn Press. Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstore) | BAM! | Indigo

“Steve spells out a vision of real education reform that we just might be ready for now. His Bill of Educational Rights, based on the best of what is known from science and theory about human development and children’s learning, should be our manifesto. ” –Matt Damon

“This book is for parents and educators who know that schools can and must do better.” – Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Temple University

FREE and open to the public. Reservations recommended.

Mary Lea Johnson Performing Arts Center – Monday, June 5, 7pm

The Calhoun School
433 West End Avenue @81st. Street, New York, NY
Venue is wheelchair accessible.

About the Book

Paperback book on sale on Amazon. 20% OFF, $14.35.

Book: First Do No Harm: Progressive Education In A Time Of Existential Risk
Author: Steve Nelson
Garn Press (264 pp.)
$24.95 hardcover, $14.35 paperback (ON SALE)
ISBN: 978-1-942146-47-6
Paperback & Hardcover Available: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstore) | BAM! | Indigo
eBook Available: Amazon

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. 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.

The book traces the origins of progressive education and cites the rich history and inarguable science behind progressive practices. Nelson 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. In the final chapter, Nelson offers a Bill of Educational Rights, hoping teachers, parents and all citizens will demand a more joyful, constructive and loving education for the children in their care.

Book Reviews

“This is ultimately a hopeful book.  Steve spells out a vision of real education reform that we just might be ready for now. His Bill of Educational Rights, based on the best of what is known from science and theory about human development and children’s learning, should be our manifesto. All children deserve a progressive education, not just the privileged few. 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.” – Matt Damon, Actor, Writer, Producer

“This optimistic, anecdotal book offers useful ideas for changes in education.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS

“Parents, teachers and those who support better educational opportunities for all of our children should start 2017 by reading Steve Nelson’s First Do No Harm, Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk. At the same time, the book should be a mandatory read for our elected and appointed officials, whose understanding of the benefits of true public education is needed now, more than ever. If they truly understand where we are, where we are headed and the alternative approach that would serve our country and its children, they would use First Do No Harm as a guidebook for their policy actions.” –  Jonathan Pelto

“Steve Nelson knows full well that freedom begins between the ears.  He negotiates this space with clarity, charm and precision.  Ultimately he shows the reader how a good education is the mirror image of a proper democracy.  For too long our systems of education have shrink-wrapped our imaginations.  Nelson successfully argues for a new way of thinking.” – Colum McCann, Author of Let the World Spin and National Book Award winner

“Nelson’s thesis: To nurture all children – rich or poor – to develop an intrinsic desire to learn life-long. His is an educational bill of rights I wish we could implement tomorrow. Written in direct, jargon-free style, and using his vast educational experience, Nelson makes a compelling case that much of current educational reform is wrong-headed, focusing as it does on ‘compliance and conformity.’ Until we encourage ‘skepticism and originality’ – gained via progressive education – students will not fulfil their ‘limitless potential.’ A great, thought-provoking read.” – Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor, University of Delaware, Co-author with Kathy Hirsh-Pasek of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells us About Raising Successful Children

“Nelson combines experience, knowledge, wisdom and brilliant writing as he invites us into school the way it should be. Using progressive education as his platform, he demonstrates how education can nurture engaged and motivated children who actively discover their world and grow up to be good citizens. Sound like a pipe dream? Read on. This book is for parents and educators who know that schools can and must do better.” – Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Temple University

“This powerful, entertaining book is both a beautifully-expressed explanation of progressive education and a searing indictment of contemporary education policy and practice. As an teacher, I appreciate the inspirational, good-humored tour of contemporary research and theory. As a parent and an activist, I appreciate the Bill of Education Rights, outlining what we should expect from our schools. As a citizen, I appreciate the clear vision for what education can be — humane, equitable, meaningful and joyful.” Amazon Review, Amazon.

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