Shortlisted for the 2017/18 Donner Prize
"Pushing the Limits is a real gem of a book. In a clear, accessible manner, the authors outline how we can have the schools our kids deserve. Using humane real life examples, they show how some of the most difficult challenges facing our classrooms today can be overcome with a focus on high-quality relationships, pedagogy and belief in children's competence. A real beacon of hope—I couldn't put it down." —Jean M. Clinton, M.D., child psychiatrist; co-author of Learning Social Literacy
"Pushing the Limits is a book about the transformations of children's lives through magnificent teaching and leading. It's engaging, enlightening and elevating. Once you open it, you won't be able to put it down." —Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College; President of the International Congress of School Effectiveness and Improvement
"This is some of the most hopeful writing on education I've read in a long time. Pushing the Limits should be essential reading for everyone who cares about public education, young people and the best way to ensure that our next generations are both successful as individuals and able to provide solutions for our complex social, environmental and economic challenges." —Annie Kidder, Executive Director, People for Education
KELLY GALLAGHER-MACKAY is a lawyer, researcher and education activist. She is an assistant professor of Law and Society at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she researches issues of equity in education and children’s services. Before joining the faculty she was Research Director at the non-profit group People for Education, where her research focuses on broad measures of school success as a means of evaluating what truly matters in schools. She has a PhD in Educational Policy from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and was the first Northern Director of a fully accredited law school for Inuit students in Iqaluit, Nunavut. She has two children in the public school system in Toronto.
NANCY STEINHAUER is an educational leader with over twenty years of experience, ranging from Canada’s top private schools to diverse, inner city schools. In 2012, Nancy Steinhauer was the recipient of Canada’s Outstanding Principals Award by The Learning Partnership and the Stand Up for Kids Award by the four Children’s Aid Societies of Toronto. After spending two years working for the Ontario Ministry of Education as a Student Achievement Officer, Nancy recently took the helm as principal at The Mabin School, one of Canada’s first Ashoka Changemaker Schools.
How do we prepare children for a future we can't even imagine?
Across Canada, a debate swirls around what our children will need to know in the face of huge technological, economic, social and political change. The question has become an ideological battleground, and there is a hunger for a deeper understanding of what we should be doing to prepare children now for the challenges of the future. This timely, important book is an answer to that call.
In Pushing the Limits, Kelly Gallagher-Mackay and Nancy Steinhauer draw on their experiences as educational leaders to reveal that the schools of the future exist in the here and now. They introduce us to extraordinary Canadian public schools, deeply rooted in their communities, that are fostering innovators, nimble problem-solvers and engaged citizens, boosting math comprehension, cultivating creativity and using technology to broaden the parameters of learning. And they explore why the role of schools is expanding to nurture students' social-emotional skills and growth mindsets, and how vital this broader definition of education is to children's long-term health, happiness and success. This book provides a vision of what schooling can and should look like in our rapidly shifting world and explores how we—parents and teachers—can realize this vision together.