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Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture

by Kirsten Olson

Book Reviews

"This wonderful and probing book is flilled with . . . powerful, poignant, passionate stories -- stories that are at once fragile and strong, painful and enduring. They make us mourn the losses of laughter and opportunity in schools, weep at the lingering sadness and sorrow in schools, laugh at the absurdities, and grin at the moments of mischief and inspiration."
--From the Foreword by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Kirsten Olson has written a book that is at once intellectually engaging and replete with usable resources and proposals for action . . . May this splendid book be read, discussed, taken to heart, and put into action."
--Frorn the Foreword by Parker J. Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach

"A brilliant, original, and important book. Wounded by School makes an eloquent and moving case for the radical re-invention of our schools."
--Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap

Online Reviews

"I've been reading 'Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture' over the weekend. Its a great read for anyone interested in education reform, education pedagogy, curriculum development, or the future of education in an increasingly digital age. Kirsten Olsen, the author draws on a wealth of experience and personal stories including being, ' . . . a consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Kennedy School at Harvard, and many leage public school systems and charter schools.' Kirsten passionately argues (and proves) that our schools, our curriculum, and our teaching methods fail to appreciate diversity, are rather outdated given our current technological realities, and need to be re-aligned to more fully honor the dignity of students and teachers.'
--Compassion in Politics

"One might find this book a bit controversial. It's not a subject we like to talk about. We like to think that all schools and teachers are great. But unfortunately that isn't the case. I like how Ms. Olson tackles this issue in a nonthreatening way."
--Yup Another Review Blog

"I myself have a child with ADHD who has to constantly come up with creative ways to teach my daughter at home, effectively. I've had to fight the system to get them to work with her more. I hate that I have had to do this, but you do what you have to do for your children. Every parent needs to read this book, and call for change in America's school."
--Angela Maiers

"Drawing on deeply emotional stories, Olson shows that current institutional structures do not produce the kinds of minds and thinking that society really needs. Instead, the system tends to shame, disable, and bore many learners. Most importantly, she presents the experiences of wounded learners who have healed and shows what teachers, parents, and students can do right now to help themselves stay healthy. [rate:5/5]"
--PJ Mommy

"I just read the new book by Kirsten Olson, 'Wounded by School: Recapturing the joy in learning and standing up to old school culture' and if you are a student, parent or teacher, you should too. Today's schooling, with its focus on achievement tests and accountability is taking away the joy of learning from our students"
--The Examiner

"There's important information included in Wounded by School outlining how parents and teachers can help prevent school wounds. One of these suggestions includes praising the effort rather than the resulting outcome or mark."
--Self Help Suite 101

"As a child 'wounded by school,' I found Kirsten Olson's offering to be a refreshing read. One that I'd like to think teachers, school boards and government officials take to heart. I still remember being a kindergartener and being told by the teacher that she had to make phone calls so she wanted me to sit in her chair and read out loud to my peers. Three books later, she returned."
--Roundtable Review for Kids

"Olson herself certainly shows no qualms about using this 'freedom' in making her argument. The thesis of her book is that too many students in today's classrooms are 'wounded' by a school system which places too high a premium on standardized test scores, grades and other conventional forms of measuring achievement. How is one to tell who is wounded is detailed in the first chapter, where one finds a short list of what school wounds are."
--Campus Report Online

"I just finished reading a new book, Wounded by School, written by Kirsten Olson, and it's a very interesting report on some of the latest educational research (she was a doctoral student at Harvard with Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot) and updates of some of the most intriguing research from the 60's (some of which, astonishingly, I've read). She discusses the experiences of children and adults in detail with regard to wounds received in school -- by which she means things that have happened to derail a child's natural love of learning and intellectual curiosity"
--Review Planet

"This book brings to light the harm that can be done when conforming to standards is more important than encouraging creativity. When student's interests aren't as important as test scores. This book also tells the stories of students who have been wounded by school, and how they healed. A great book for students, parents and educators."
--Kids Bookshelf

"I feel schools need to stop pouring their time on what to spend school money on (although important, it’s not what school is about) and focus on the children, our future, who need all the knowledge they can get. I believe one never stops learning in their lifetime, but I am all for not making the hump of their actual school years not a difficult one to achieve. I really enjoyed reading this book and I recommend it to everyone."
--The Dirty Shirt Blog

"Fundamentally hopeful, Wounded By School finds much energy for reform, and an alignment with the larger business community that says American schools are not producing the kinds of attributes most needed in young adults and future employees. An old-fashioned, outmoded institution, the American schoolhouse and concepts of learning and teaching were designed for an earlier time. These ideas no longer serve us well. This is a critical moment for individuals to band together to create change and reclaim our learning lives."

"Far from portraying students as helpless victims, Olson's approach is one of empowerment. Despite advances in technology and a wealth of information about different learning styles, schools have been operating basically the same way for many years, and changing them is a big, slow, and complex process that requires the involvement of everyone. There is encouraging evidence that this has been going on (one example of an experimental Midwestern school founded by the Bill Gates Foundation is particularly intriguing), but considering the rapid rate at which the world is changing, we need to pick up the pace."
--Culture Cartel