When the Light Goes On: The Life-Changing Wonder of Learning in an Age of Metrics, Screens, and Diminished Human Connection

Beacon. Feb. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780807008539. $27.95. ED
Five years in the making, Rose’s (Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Education) book is both an ode to the profession of education and a testament to the importance of individual learning experiences. Based on interviews with a multitude of Americans, it investigates the aha moments when something just clicks in a person’s schooling. In the book, the author, who died in 2021, examines his own reawakening in a senior high school English class in conjunction with the teacher who taught that class. Reflecting on his high school notes, papers, and memories, and his teacher’s remembrances and observations, the author lays the groundwork for exploring similar moments in the lives of others. He concludes that society needs a binocular view of education in order to facilitate these moments for more students. Such a view would include acknowledging barriers and needed supports but also realizing the current potential opportunity present in every situation. Neither a simple fix book nor an elegy to despair, the author reminds readers that learning is a fundamental human endeavor that’s necessary for all.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all education collections.
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