A few days ago, I tweeted to John Spencer and A.J. Juliani, thanking both of them for sharing their amazing book LAUNCH with the world.
Immediately, I was enamored with the ideas spilling off of the pages. I devoured the book, making highlight after highlight, and furiously typed notes into my Kindle. And the most empowering part of my reading was the feeling of validation I had with every new chapter – their truths are my truths.
I believe that all students are creative. I believe that all students have gifts. I believe that students’ passions should be valued. I believe that all students have questions. I believe that we, as educators, have to provide students the platform to question their world and give them opportunities to discover, create and share their truths. And I believe that all of this can still be done with countless state tests looming overhead.
What this book provides is a practical (albeit brilliant) road map to help educators create schools and classrooms that are more engaging, student-centered, empowering and fun. LAUNCH is full of examples, question stems, procedures, thinking processes and project ideas that helped me to clearly envision this in my library, as well as, in my collaborative work with teachers. Spencer and Juliani reframe the design thinking process in a way that allows students to take the lead in not only creating, but sharing what they create with the world. I cheered out loud at the authors’ assertion that research is more than just reading – it is anything we do to answer questions and learn new things and appreciate their position that in order to make student learning more meaningful, students must be allowed to take the lead and direct where they want to go.
I am so excited to return to school in August and share the Launch Cycle with my colleagues. I believe that this has the power to transform our schools, even if it happens one classroom at a time.