First, Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk
6 x 9 inches | 266 pages
Hardcover: 978-1942146483
Paperback ISBN: 978-1942146476
Ebook ISBN: 978-1942146490



Education / Policy & Reform / Philosophy & Social Aspects of Education / Charter Schools
6 x 9 inches | 266 pages
$17.95 Paperback | $24.95 Hardcover | $9.99 eBook
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound (local bookstores) | Books-A-Million | Indigo Books

About the Book

First Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk develops a comprehensive argument for the importance of progressive education in light of the world’s increasingly severe challenges. Current educational practices, particularly in the United States, instill conformity and compliance at a time when authority must be challenged, skepticism must thrive and our students must be imaginative, creative, empathic and passionately alive.

Steve Nelson traces the origins of progressive education and cites the rich history and inarguable science behind progressive practices. He argues that a traditional or conventional approach to education has dominated as a matter of political expediency, not good practice, and he provides an unsparing critique of current policy and practice, particularly the excesses of contemporary education reform.

Using anecdotes from his many years as an educational leader, he makes the case in an engaging, colorful and accessible style. In the final chapter, Nelson offers a Bill of Educational Rights, hoping teachers, parents and all citizens will demand a more joyful, constructive and loving education for the children in their care.

Endorsements and Reviews

"Steve Nelson helps us understand education in a way that deepens our awareness of the profound impact education has on children's lives and the society and world we live in, and he spells out a vision of real education reform. He argues that all children deserve a progressive education, not just the privileged few, an education that will enliven their lives with joy and possibility and help them contribute to the betterment of society and our planet." - Matt Damon, Actor, humanitarian and activist

“This book exceeded my expectations. It is "must" reading for all educators, regardless of their field of expertise or the institutions in which they teach.” - Amazon

"Steve Nelson knows full well that freedom begins between the ears. He negotiates this space with clarity, charm and precision. Ultimately he shows the reader how a good education is the mirror image of a proper democracy." - Colum McCann, Author of Let the World Spin

“Every parent and politician should read this book. It’s critical, factual and also loving, funny, and inviting, Nelson describes and deconstructs the follies of past and present ideologies and practices, which support and inhibit learning.” - Amazon 

"Nelson's educational bill of rights I wish we could implement tomorrow. A great, thought-provoking read." - Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D. Co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children

“This powerful, entertaining book is both a beautifully-expressed explanation of progressive education and a searing indictment of contemporary education policy and practice.” - Amazon

“Essential reading for every parent, teacher and policy maker.” - Amazon 

"Nelson combines experience, knowledge, wisdom and brilliant writing as he invites us into school the way it should be. Using progressive education as his platform, he demonstrates how education can nurture engaged and motivated children who actively discover their world and grow up to be good citizens. Sound like a pipe dream? Read on. This book is for parents and educators who know that schools can and must do better." - Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., Co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Teaches Us About Raising Successful Children