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Well-Being in Schools: Three Forces That Will Uplift Your Students in a Volatile World
Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley
ASCD / Softcover / Dec 2021
9781416630722 (ISBN-10: 1416630724)
price: $49.50 (may be subject to change)
188 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

This timely resource for teachers, leaders, and policymakers provides breakthrough insights into how to improve students' well-being in schools.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, students' well-being was an increasingly prominent concern among educators, as issues related to mental health, global crises, and social media became impossible to ignore. But what, exactly, is well-being? What does it look like, why is it so important, and what can school systems do to promote it? How does it relate to student achievement and social and emotional learning?

World-renowned education experts Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley answer these questions and more in this in-depth exploration of the underlying ideas and research findings related to well-being, coupled with examples of policies and implementations from around the globe. The authors make the case for putting well-being ahead of other priorities, such as scores on high-stakes assessments, and explain the three powerful forces that educators can leverage to set up effective well-being policy and practice: prosperity for all, ethical technology use, and restorative nature.

Inspiring, thoughtful, and provocative, Well-Being in Schools: Three Forces That Will Uplift Your Students in a Volatile World offers hope in a time of unprecedented challenges. Looking within and beyond the classroom, it charts a path toward a lofty but achievable goal: improved well-being not only for students but also for society as a whole.


I read Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley's book about the importance of well-being with great appreciation for their wisdom, insight, and humane understanding of children, educators, and education. What they offer in this book is a remarkable vision of educational transformation. The book is a direct challenge to the current stale status quo. I hope that ministers of education, legislators, and policymakers read it and take action."
--Diane Ravitch

Bravo to authors Hargreaves and Shirley for standing up for children's well-being and happiness! In a style that is accessible and free of jargon, this book teaches us that children cannot learn when they are lonely, alienated, or unhappy. Drawing on research and plain common sense from before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, this book reminds us what really matters in education. The thoughtful lessons apply not only to schools but also to community centers, sports clubs, and anywhere else that young people congregate.
--Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer, author, media personality, therapist, and adjunct professor, Columbia University

Well-Being in Schools is an inspiring and revolutionary book. It's about far more than the title suggests. Readers of this fine work will come to view the public school as a metaphor for all of society. Applied to schools and beyond, the three powerful forces it identifies--including a call to renew our relationship with nature--can reshape the lives of children and adults right now, while offering us hope for a newer world.
--Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder and Our Wild Calling

Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley's Well-Being in Schools is a brilliant journey through the global and local landscapes, fields, and foibles of well-being theory and practice in education. In a highly readable way, the authors take us through every different permutation of thinking about young people's well-being, examine its limitations, and offer new insights about ways to prioritize well-being in policy and practice. I thoroughly recommend this book to all those who are interested in placing well-being in schools much higher up the policy agenda.
--David H. Edwards, PhD, General Secretary, Education International

This timely and highly accessible book is extremely important in these volatile times. Focusing on three core forces--social prosperity, ethical technology use, and restorative nature--Hargreaves and Shirley make it clear that schools can no longer rely only on content delivery with occasional forays into social and emotional learning if we want to prepare students for the increasingly tumultuous world in which they live
--Jean Clinton, clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, McMaster University, Canada, and Michael Fullan, professor emeritus and former dean, OISE/University of Toronto

Well-Being in Schools provides a comprehensive road map for teachers and leaders alike to firstly understand and secondly create the conditions for student well-being and achievement. Rich and vivid examples of emergent and promising practice from school systems around the world drive home the reciprocal relationship between well-being and student success. This is a must read for school and system leaders.
--Kevin Godden, EdD, superintendent

How can our schools enable young people not just to achieve academically but also to live long and prosper? And what can we learn from education systems that do both of these things well? Andy and Dennis outline how the pandemic is showing us what really matters in education and is sharpening our thinking about what needs to change. This timely and wide-ranging book pulls no punches. Full of international analysis and insights, it inspires us to believe not only that it is imperative for our young people that we build back better but also that it might just be possible to do so. I loved it.
--Steve Munby, visiting professor, University College London and former CEO, National College for School Leadership, England

Student well-being has become the key element of successful education systems. This important book shows how learning to be well is not just about your well-being or mine, it is a social condition that includes all of us. There is no better time than now to dive deeper in the meaning of student well-being. I recommend this book to teachers, school leaders, and policymakers as a guide how to build a better and healthier world through education.
--Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons 3.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?

Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley capture the art and science of student well-being as the fundamental building block to our present and future. They weave theory, practice, and policy together to give us practical and relevant next steps to our work in Well-Being in Schools. Student well-being is a timeless focus for all of us and essential to our post-pandemic recovery.
--Joshua J. Garcia, EdD, superintendent

About the Authors:

Andy Hargreaves is director of CHENINE (Change, Engagement and Innovation in Education) at the University of Ottawa, research professor in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, and honorary professor at Swansea University in the UK. He is cofounder and president of the ARC Education Project, a group of nations committed to broadly defined excellence, equity, well-being, inclusion, democracy, and human rights in education. Hargreaves was president of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement 2017-2019, served as education advisor to the premier of Ontario 2015-2018, and is currently an advisor to the first minister of Scotland. He holds honorary doctorates in the Education University of Hong Kong and the University of Uppsala in Sweden. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has been honored in the United States, the UK, and Canada for services to public education and educational research.

Dennis Shirley is Duganne Faculty Fellow and professor of education at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Shirley has led and advised many educational change initiatives. He was the principal investigator of the Massachusetts Coalition for Teacher Quality and Student Achievement, a federally funded improvement network that united 18 urban schools, 7 higher education institutions, and 16 community-based organizations. He has conducted in-depth studies about school innovations in England, Germany, Canada, and South Korea. Shirley has been a visiting professor at Harvard University in the United States, Venice International University in Italy, the National Institute of Education in Singapore, the University of Barcelona in Spain, and the University of Stavanger in Norway. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Shirley's previous book is The New Imperatives of Educational Change: Achievement with Integrity.

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