Living on the Edge of Chaos: Leading Schools into the Global Age (2nd Ed.)

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In the last decade it has become increasingly clear that life today is global on many levels, both personally and professionally, and that the twenty-first century will indeed be earmarked as the first age of global living for the masses. Educators have an obligation now to prepare students to function as global citizens, to work and live with people from other cultures, and to learn within the multiple forms of technology. Having an online virtual life every day in school must become a norm if students are to grow up with the rapidly changing speed of human exchange and learning in virtual environments. The acclaimed authors of this second edition believe that creating new approaches to schooling represents a departure from the school improvement agenda of past decades. Educators need a new mindset to lead them to a new paradigm of schooling, with a new curriculum called life.

As in the first edition of this book, the authors argue that schools can adapt better to emerging global working and living conditions when they are free of bureaucratic thinking and instead hold systemic thinking as a mindset. In this second edition, the authors have now added how a much sharper focus is needed: developing schools as global learning centers that prepare students now to be competent and caring global citizens. It is within the global context of living that the mission of schools needs to change course so that students, at every age, can become citizens who are both knowledgeable and skillful and who care about the human community and its sustainability.

Educators will necessarily push the boundaries of schooling and break barriers so that global opportunities and challenges can be pursued. In the process, educators are finding themselves living on the edge of chaos, a necessary condition for stimulating significant and enduring change. This is a big moment in the history of education, one that needs courageous people to imagine new schooling futures, those who find ways to link to the local and global business communities and also consult educators around the world that have a similar mission.

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Living on the Edge of Chaos: Leading Schools into the Global Age (2nd Ed.), American Society for Quality, 368 p.