I just finished reading Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture by Diana Senechal.

The book touches on themes I have been thinking and reading about: common standards, relevance, busywork, group work, the use of research in setting education policy, and the use of technology in education.  The book has provided me with words and frameworks for thinking about what have been formless, nagging doubts about various policies:  mass personalization, solitude, and public versus private purposes of public education.

The book also touches on themes I haven’t been thinking or reading about (but perhaps will now): discernment, loneliness, solitude, how we define success and achievement, and the twentieth-century reform movements that have shaped current practice in schools.

My first read of this book was a bit rushed, as I was anxious to see all of what Diana Senechal had to say.  I will be thinking about this book and rereading it more carefully.  I suspect it will spark some writing related to Iowa education policy in upcoming weeks (time permitting).