Amid the hype of Race to the Top, online experiments such as Khan Academy, and bestselling books like The Sandbox Investment, we seem to have drawn a line that leads from nursery school along a purely economic route, with money as the final stop. But what price do we all pay for the singular focus on wage as the outcome of education? Susan Engel, a leading psychologist and educator, argues that this economic framework has had a profound impact not only on the way we think about education but also on what happens inside school buildings.The End of the Rainbow asks what would happen if we changed the implicit goal of education and imagines how different things would be if we made happiness, rather than money, the graduation prize. In this "gem of a book" (Deborah Meier), Engel offers a fascinating alternative view of what education might become: teaching children to read books for pleasure and self-expansion and encouraging collaboration. All of these new skills, she argues, would not only cultivate future success in the world of work but would also make society as a whole a happier place.
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