I Used to Think???And Now I Think???


I Used to Think and Now I Think coverTwenty of education’s most influential thought
leaders— Rudy Crew, Larry Cuban, Howard Gardner, Jeffrey Henig, Rick Hess,
Marshall Smith, to name a few—gather on the pages of this HEPG volume to
explain how their thinking about education and education reform has changed
since entering the field. Ironically, for most, it hasn’t much. (A more apt
title of the book may be I Used to Think,
And Still Do
—the first line in chapter one reads: “I have been arguing for
theory in educational research since 1982.”) Still, among the twenty there are
smart perspectives to be found and recommendations for the system to be
gleaned. Larry Cuban reminds us that structural reforms are insufficient at
altering traditional teaching practices. Jeffrey Henig argues that the markets
and government are intricately and intractably intertwined. And Rick Hess, ever
contradictory, explains that there are no real experts. Though groundbreaking
shifts are absent from its pages, I Used
to Think…And Now I Think
does offer intelligent reflection and nuances of
perspective—a unique window into the experiences that have shaped today’s
educational thought leaders. And it’s a light read to boot.

Richard F. Elmore, ed., I Used to
Think…And Now I Think…,
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 2011).

Chris Irvine
Chris Irvine is a Policy and Operations Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute