Thrive by Valerie Hannon and Amelia Peterson: The purpose of schools in a changing world

Watch Valerie’s presentation of Thrive here – the book is available in February 2021.

Valerie Hannon and Amelia Peterson engage with the debate of the future of education in a world post-COVID in their co-authored book, Thrive The Purpose of Schools in a Changing World. Building on Valerie’s 2017 edition of Thrive, the authors wrote the book because they believed that we won’t get the necessary changes in education and in the nature of schooling unless we ask some very fundamental questions about what schools are for. They wanted to go a level above the questions that usually get asked about curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment, and ask very fundamental questions about the purposes of mass public education in the new conditions. These new conditions are of the new century, where we face not just pandemics and disruptions of all sorts, but our very profound challenges to the very nature of humanity itself.

They suggest that the new purpose of schools should be about learning to thrive in a transforming world, because the world is genuinely transforming, and doing so very fast.

They point out four utterly interrelated levels to best thrive:

  1. in terms of our relationship with the planet and our environment
  2. in societal terms
  3. in our interpersonal relationships
  4. as individuals – intrapersonally

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