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Redefining Smart

Redefining Smart
Awakening Students’ Power to Reimagine Their World

August 2015 | 176 pages | Corwin

Equip Your Students To Create Their Own Intellectual Destiny! 

The best educators are the ones who empower students to ask intelligent questions and persistently seek the answers, stepping in only when necessary. 

Fostering rigorous, inquiry-based learning requires consistent systems backed by research and data. And these are precisely what you’ll find in this book, which details:

  • A groundbreaking new approach to content delivery and instruction, geared towards maximizing student discovery, deep thought, exploration, and creativity 
  • Why educators must let go of student IQ as a concept that influences teaching methods in any way 
  • How to create a protocol-driven environment that fosters deep sharing and reflection 

With this book, you can give your students the two greatest gifts possible: Intellectual confidence and a growth mindset. 

Preface: Be the Change You Want to See: Or, Why This Book Is Different
I. Making Children Smarter
1. Be Future-Ready: Entering a Relationship-Driven World
2. Let Go of IQ: Why Beliefs Limit Intelligence
3. Follow the Child: The "It" Factor
4. Reconnect Heart and Brain: Why Love Matters
II. Aligning School and Smart
5. Leverage the Power of Care: From Teacher to Mentor
6. Rethink Rigor: Preparing for Deeper Learning
7. Be a Co-Learner: Coaching Intelligent Behaviors
8. Put Thinking First: Teacher as Designer
9. Follow the Gamers: The Creative Mindset
10. Tap the Future of Smart: Making Collaboration the Norm
Afterword: Become an Agent of Change: Twelve East Ways to Contribute to the Conversation

"Every idea in this book is critical for educators: from the idea of a classroom functioning as an ecosystem, to addressing creativity, to encouraging and learning from failure, to the ideas of collaboration."

Melissa Weatherwax, Elementary Teacher
Poestenkill Elementary School, Poestenkill, NY

"An urgent call for redefining educational outcomes and a compelling argument for personalization of education. Markham convincingly explains why education is much more than developing cognitive skills and proposes practical ways to cultivate what matters for life."

Yong Zhao, Ph.D, Presidential Chair, Director
Institute of Global and Online Education University of Oregon

"'Choose courage, over fear'” With these words Thom Markham begins his book, Redefining Smart. He offers a research based educational vision for changing our definition for student success in the 21st Century. The book goes further to offer practical advice, tools, and reflective questions to assist teachers in choosing to have courage to change their practice and student's lives."

Bob Lenz, Executive Director, CEO and founder, Envision Schools
Buck Institute for Education

"For over twenty years it’s been known that intelligence is far more than one’s IQ, and that a powerful relationship exists between the heart and brain that affects one’s ability to self-regulate and navigate the complexities of life. By integrating the new science of heart intelligence into the conversation about deeper learning, inquiry, and 21st century skills, Thom Markham not only redefines intelligence, he shows that positive emotions hold the key to sustained optimal performance, sharper cognitive functioning, and the kind of heartfelt collaboration and mentoring that inspires young people to become resilient, capable, and open-minded adults. This book points the way to the future of education."

Rollin McCraty, Director of Research
Institute of HeartMath

"In Redefining Smart, Thom Markham makes an urgent call for school change that will resonate with anyone who entered the teaching profession because they care about children. Joyful learning that engages both heart and brain is not a squishy, feel-good idea. Nor is it in opposition to today’s rigorous standards. Indeed, as Markham explains in detail, today’s students will not be prepared to tackle the challenges ahead unless we help them learn to think, collaborate, communicate, and feel. Speaking directly--and respectfully--to teachers, he outlines practical steps to create the culture of inquiry that all children deserve."

Suzie Boss, Author of Bringing Innovation to School and Edutopia blogger

"Dr. Markham offers up smart research and fresh thinking about our most powerful and human way of teaching; inquiry. Written as short, accessible chapters with reflection questions to guide the experience, the overall effect of this multi-course experience is, not surprisingly, a wide smile and full heart. One of the most accessible, thoroughly-researched and empowering books on the transformative power of inquiry-based teaching that I’ve ever read."

Kimberly L. Mitchell, Founder & CEO
Inquiry Partners

"It only took until 2015, but we finally have the book that provides the quintessential guide to 21st century learning. Redefining Smart offers a simple, yet complex, road map to transform our students’ educational experiences. While you read, throw out everything you think you know about determining students’ abilities, focus on authentic learning over time and visualize your schools and what they could (and should) be. The book is a call for change in our instructional practices, but clearly defines the Why? behind making these essential changes and the impact they will have on students. I cannot wait to put it in the hands of all my instructional leaders! Markham nailed it!!"

Rob Thornell, Assistant Superintendent
Northwest ISD

"My work with Thom Markham began in 2005 as we embarked on a process of revision how learning looks at Olds High School. Teaching today requires personalization; connecting the heart and mind for both educators and learners, the fostering of personal rigor in project based learning environment, and the ability to work in a team rather than a group. Thom has achieved in his book the same outcomes he achieves when working in schools face to face. That special ability to connect someone to the sacred responsibility we have as educators in exposing our students to the skills they need. Markham has truly put his heart into the words of this book."

Tom Christenson, Principal
Olds High School

"In a world that is struggling to figure out what 21st century teaching really means, Markham provides a clear path for moving forward.  Redefining Smart reaches beyond a compartmentalized view of lesson design and curriculum by creating an exciting imperative for a new rigor.  Markham sets a vision for classrooms that build relationships, embrace emotions, develop academic mastery, and ensure that students graduate with the ability to communicate and collaborate. I can't wait to share Redefining Smart with our K-12 faculty."

Tim Fish, Associate Headmaster
McDonough School

"Redefining Smart emphasizes the importance of unlocking a passion for learning within our students and guiding them to exercise their curiosity about the world inside of the classroom.  Thom Markham provides resources, examples, and guided reflection questions to spark rich discussions about what it means to teach in the 21st century."

Julie Helber, Principal
Saline High School

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ISBN: 9781483358963

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