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Giving Wings to Children’s Dreams

Giving Wings to Children’s Dreams
Making Our Schools Worthy of Our Children

Foreword by Terrence E. Deal

July 2012 | 176 pages | Corwin
In this powerful collection, the former executive director of the American Association of School Administrators looks at the factors educators must consider in order to turn schools back into places that nurture children. There are basic truths about what motivates people, Paul D. Houston argues, and educators must embed these truths in the educational process. In this book, educators will find inspiration and guidance through:

- Eighteen beautifully written, thought-provoking essays on how we can transform our schools

- Chapter-by-chapter questions to inspire reflection, discussion, and professional development

- A broad range of topics spanning from the magic of learning to global education to the perils of accountability

Houston's words will resonate with anyone committed to improving schools, and will help educators examine their own beliefs, develop a common vision, and enact reform.

About the Author
Opening Thoughts
Foreword by Terrence E. Deal
1. My Wings
2. Teachers: Magicians and Conductors
3. Attitude=Altitude
4. Leaning Our Ladder Against the Right Wall
5. Crawling Out of the Box
6. How It Ought to Be
7. Getting Kids Ready for Democracy
8. Getting Kids Ready for School—Raising the Village
9. Getting Schools Ready for Kids
10. Getting the Words and Symbols Right
11. Horse Whispering: Harnessing Technology to Enhance Learning
12. The Brain is a Terrible Thing to Waste
13. Creativity and the Arts: The Surry, Not the Fringe
14. Authentic Accountability
15. Lead Is Not a Four Letter Word
16. Bored of Education
17. Dealing with the Heart and Soul
18. A School Worthy of Our Children—A Fable
Appendix/Study Guide
Reading List

"Giving Wings to Children’s Dreams is not only a refreshing read with original views on the state of our schools and the efforts of our teachers, but it provides a ‘just in time’ prescription for bringing sanity back into education reform."

Sheila Gragg, Assistant Director of Academics
Ashbury College, Canada

"In page after page, any public educator will recognize that this is written by someone who understands and articulates our frustrations, but more importantly our dreams of 'making our schools worthy of our children.'"

The School Administrator, June 2011
American Association of School Administrators

"The author’s ability to breathe humor into a serious topic such as school reform and truly reaching our children is a mark of genius."

Seidah Ashshaheed, Principal
King George Middle School, VA

"Throughout the book, Houston keeps his focus firmly on students. Each time he picks up a new strand of the educational debate, he re-centers the reader on the students’ experience. This book has the potential to re-center our national conversation on education policy by examining professional issues through powerful personal experience."

Kathleen Cushman, Author, Fires in the Mind

"This book provides real-life examples of what can be done. We have enough data about what is wrong with our schools. Through practical experiences, Houston describes possibilities for students and schools. The integration of learning theory, leadership, and organizational development creates hope. Yes, positive change can be accomplished, and this book provides some excellent ways to support students and staff in the pursuit of learning."

William Sommers, Director of Learning Alternatives
Spring Lake Park Schools, MN

"As an experienced teacher and administrator, I found myself moved, inspired, and motivated to do whatever it takes to provide meaningful learning experiences for all children."

Roberto A. Pamas, Principal
O.W. Holmes Middle School, Falls Church, VA

"Paul Houston throws a huge roadblock in the way of test-driven bean counters with this coldly realistic yet uplifting new course to school improvement. He challenges us to harness the know-how and capacity of the nation’s educators and communities to transform our schools.”

John Wilson, Executive Director
National Education Association, Executive Office

“Giving Wings to Children’s Dreams combines doable, concrete strategies to transform our schools with that rare commodity—common sense—and Houston does this with literary grace and style.”

Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director
National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA

"By reminding us that education is more a matter of the heart than the head and that possibility outweighs performance, Houston succeeds in giving wings to dreams of educators everywhere – uplifting students to their highest potential and letting them fly."

Gail Connelly, Executive Director
National Association of Elementary School Principals

"Integration of 21st century skills and, especially, the use of technology in establishing Houston's model for schools illustrates his holistic and timely approach to reform."

Patty Minrovic
OAESA Principal Navigator magazine, Winter 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters



Paul D. Houston

Paul D. Houston has established himself as one of the leading spokespersons for American education through his extensive speaking engagements, published articles, and his regular appearances on national radio and television. Formerly executive director of the American Association of School Administrators from 1994 to 2008, Houston has served as a teacher and building administrator in North Carolina and New Jersey. He has also served as assistant superintendent in Birmingham, Alabama, and as superintendent of schools in Princeton, NJ; Tucson, AZ; and Riverside, CA. Houston has served in an adjunct capacity for the University of North... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412980357

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