Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns” as Want to Read:
Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,423 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Selected as one of the "Best Books on Innovation, 2008" by "BusinessWeek" magazine

Named the "Best Human-Capital Book of 2008" by "Strategy + Business" magazine

A crash course in the business of learning-from the bestselling author of "The Innovator's Dilemma" and "The Innovator's Solution."..

"Provocatively titled, "Disrupting Class" is just what America's K-12 education sys
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by McGraw-Hill (first published May 14th 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Leah Macvie
Sep 29, 2010 Leah Macvie rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2009 Kate rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction, education
Absolutely terrible. The one thing I learned from this book: If you're going to write a book about the American educational system and how to "fix" it, make sure you learn how it currently works. Otherwise, you end up looking like an idiot.
Feb 27, 2012 Sherry rated it really liked it
REALLY liked it! And so I remember them in their words, here are their 5 major messages in the book (which they sourced with great stories and studies):

1. Few reforms have address the root cause of students' inability to learn. And most attempts have not been guided by an understanding of the root reasons for why the system functions as it does or how to predictably introduce innovation into it. Without this guidance, we've been destined to struggle. This also means, however, that we now have an
Jul 20, 2009 LB rated it it was ok
Recommended to LB by: willrich via Twitter
Shelves: education
Strange to be reading this book, whose theme is built on the foundation that instruction needs to be highly individualized because students learn differently, right after Why Students Don't Like School which makes it clear that everyone learns in basically the same way. In Disrupting Class, Christensen briefly cites Gardner, and moves on. In the latter book author Daniel Willingham, a cognitive psychologist, thoroughly backs up the statement that we all learn in essentially the same way, debunki ...more
Duong Tan
Jun 03, 2017 Duong Tan rated it it was amazing
Christensen có hai từ khóa làm thành thương hiệu: Đột phá (Disrupt) và Lưỡng nan (Dilema). Ông đã mang hiểu biết của mình về hai từ khóa này khai sáng không biết bao nhiêu nhà đổi mới, nhà kinh doanh, nhà lãnh đạo khắp nơi bốn biển. Nay đến lượt giáo dục.
Giáo dục toàn cầu lâm vào khủng hoảng, không riêng gì Việt Nam. Ngay cả ở một nơi đầy rẫy các sáng kiến, các công nghệ tối tân, các nhà khoa học sáng chói, các sáng chế có thể bán tỉ tiền, các nhà cải cách với đầy đủ đam mê, với đầy đủ các mạnh
Jun 25, 2008 Joshua rated it really liked it
There is an idea I've been hearing over and over again in many different contexts, and this book brings it up again in the context of education.

It has been said that there is no perfect Pasta Sauce.... For years the companies that produce past sauce had been trying to perfect the single perfect pasta sauce through extensive research and taste testings, and to then market it accordingly. Of course, we not realize that there are, in fact, three! Regular, Spicy, and Extra Chunky. A full third of t
Vicki Davis
Oct 22, 2009 Vicki Davis rated it liked it
This is a very good book until the last chapter where it seems to draw a conclusion that the only way to fix education is with charter school type approaches. For example, we could all have a perfect house with an unlimited budget to build a new one but eventually it would show faults! We can't just build new houses. Although Hercules cleaned out the Agean stables- if they didn't remedy their ways it would fill up with filth again. Sometimes we don't step out of the box- we create new boxes! Per ...more
Nov 04, 2013 Cheri added it
I want to preface this comment by saying that “Disrupting Class” by Christensen, Horn, and Johnson does a good job of pointing out flaws in our current education system and proposing alternate solutions. For the most part, I agreed with the points they were making. However, I want to center this review on one quote from their book that I believe represents a major flaw in their proposed course of action:

“Innovative chartered schools should be attempts to match school types to fit students’ circu
Apr 16, 2010 Jacqui rated it really liked it
Clayton Christensen offers a believable and intuitive approach to fixing our staggering American educational system. In a nutshell: people learn in different ways (no surprise here; it's a well-documented theory). Teachers too often teach one way (or two or three--the point being, teachers standardize. I understand. I've been a teacher most of my life. One of us and many of them in a classroom). His solution: Use 21st century technology and Web 2.0 to individualize lessons to suit needs.

That's w
Brent Wilson
Sep 16, 2008 Brent Wilson rated it really liked it
Good exposition of Christensen's "disruptive innovation" theory - explaining how initially annoying products grow to take over markets and throw out older established companies. This book applies the theory to schools and education, with mixed success.

I got the clear impression that these authors were outsiders to the culture and complexity of schools and educational theory. So it's great to have their theory applied to the problem, but a little shaky in the details. For example, they say that "
May 19, 2009 E rated it it was amazing
Fascinating look at disruptive innovation in education

The very real value of this useful and, at times, pleasantly surprising book comes from the way the authors apply their expertise in innovation to the field of education. By approaching public education’s crisis with new eyes – and conceptualizing education as a product or service like any other – Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma), Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson provide insights that escape the tired loops of argument th
Mar 31, 2012 Christiane marked it as to-read
I heard him speak on this issue in March 2012 and he made me see teaching in a new way. Some of his most memorable insights are:

"Online learning is a technological core that can take education into a higher market"

“In higher ed, there wasn't disruption until now because colleges moving up emulated those above. Online learning changes this."

“What's going on in the low end of education today (online learning) is tomorrow's (system of) education."

"If you're trying to deploy a new technology in the
Apr 21, 2009 Valerie rated it really liked it
I'd actually give this book a 3 because it's business-speak, a style of writing I loathe; but if I do that, no one will read it. Full of useful, common-sensical observations and some excellent suggestions for radically altering US schools (they use the word "revolutionize," though I refuse to; their ideas are good but not THAT good), they advocate school change through computer technology and, more importantly, by applying the lessons of change in the computer industry. What I can't tell is whet ...more
Feb 10, 2009 edh rated it really liked it
The authors posit that the reason why traditional schooling fails so many is that by nature, the structure of schools encourage standardization rather than customization (and customization is what produces truly effective learning environments). Using available data, they predict that in the next 10-12 years fully half of all high schoolers will attend classes online in order to maximize the marketplace's ability to offer them opportunities not available in the traditional face-to-face format. T ...more
Josh Steimle
Oct 05, 2011 Josh Steimle rated it it was amazing
This book isn't just about fixing the educational system, it's about how the educational system will be fixed. It's not so much a question of if, but when, because it's inevitable. The question is whether you want to fight the transition or ride the wave and help it along, because although people will be fighting it, thinking that it's a bad thing, in the long run it's going to be good for teachers, administrators, politicians, entrepreneurs, parents, and especially students. If you're involved ...more
Elaine Roberts
Aug 05, 2009 Elaine Roberts rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. Even bought it for my team because I believed it would give them some insight into some of the current thinking and movements in K-12 education. The book discussion went well and we've expanded that discussion to other groups in the company. I'm hoping there will be continuing reverb as we think about what moved us in this book.
Jun 02, 2009 vorthys rated it it was ok
There's some outstanding stuff in here, but it's surrounded by an awful lot of hand waving.
Long time ago, when I was in the credential program my main professor advised my class to never substitute and not to read anything to do with education. She believed that we were all able to get employment therefore we should not settle for a substitute job. When it came to reading educational related materials, she said that for the most part we would be disappointed in the reading, mad about the reading but most of all dishearten because most writers on education paint a dark picture that wou ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Tim rated it it was ok
A valiant effort on what it will take to dramatically improve the educational system in the USA.

Let's begin with some positives, because I am inclined to agree with most of what the author advances. Different students have different needs. Another way to phrase "needs" is with deficiencies. Every student is deficient in a different way, and thus will require a different strategy to correct those deficiencies. The author doesn't use these terms - I'm using them to illustrate how the author is cor
Mar 08, 2017 Betty rated it really liked it
I love the ideas on this book and hope educators will read it and have new abilities to improve education.
May 29, 2011 Heather rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! Clayton Christensen applies his knowledge of disruptive innovation to education and suggests some important ideas and solutions for helping to improve education in America. He recounts how the mission and purpose of public education in America has changed throughout history. Teachers and administrators have actually done better than we give them credit for adapting and changing to meet these needs, but obviously there is still more to do. He identifies some of the probl ...more
Scott Lee
Dec 29, 2016 Scott Lee rated it really liked it
I have been studying blended learning this year as part of a new Online Academy opened within the school district where I work. I've been taking courses, and doing a lot of independent reading and this book was the first full-length work I read on the subject--lots of articles prior to this, plenty of posts, and discussion panels, and course material, but this is the first book. I really enjoyed it.

I couldn't get my head around a real review in the moment last night after finishing the book, so
May 06, 2008 Tracy rated it really liked it
i forced my poor travel companion to engage me in numerous discussions as i teased out the very interesting theories and predictions in this book (thank you rtw). definitely not the light and fluffy writing that books on education can sometimes be; instead, it is filled with interesting anecdotes/analogies to business which i appreciated and enjoyed learning about in their own right. makes me want to reconsider a career in education...
I was inspired to write a longer review for Amazon as I th
Nov 11, 2013 Jessica rated it it was ok
I agree that students need to be taught individually, according to their own styles and at their own pace. There is always the worry that they will silo their knowledge, becoming interested in one thing whilst leaving out others. There is also the worry that they may become stagnant if not constantly pushed. Naturally, that is the purpose of the tacher.

Here is the thing, that Christensen only somewhat touches on. Having a child that is allowed to learn on an individual level, and in the way that
Oct 20, 2008 Rick rated it really liked it
Clayton Christensen, the author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, makes a compelling argument for how innovation, almost always by definition disruptive, could bring profound change to the resistant world of public education. Christensen argues that education finally needs to solve the problem of how to reach every student in terms of his or her individual interests, needs, and learning styles and paces. Historically that has proved impossible. Schools are designed to deliver a monolithic instructiona ...more
Apr 21, 2009 MCOH rated it liked it
I strongly agree with Clayton Christensen's central thesis - that students should be taught individually, based on their individual strengths, learning styles, and interests. They should be able to start at their own level and proceed at their own pace, for optimum learning. I was grateful to experience a learning environment like that at my elementary Montessori school, but most public schools can't replicate the incredibly low teacher-student ratios we had (about 7:1). How can a teacher with 3 ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it
This book is 6 years old, so obviously things have changed since it was first published, but what hasn't changed all that much is how standardized education can be too standardized and therefore does not educate all children. Any educator will tell you that children learn differently; multiple intelligences taught us this many, many years ago. And good educators tailor lessons to meet individual needs, but this can only be done so much within the current educational system. So how do we change t ...more
L.G. Estrella
Dec 06, 2013 L.G. Estrella rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Christensen takes his disruption theory, which has already found substantial success in the business arena, and applies it to the realm of education. I will preface my comments by pointing out that I live in Australia. As such, the US educational system is not my educational system. However, I do have a long-standing interest in education in general (several family members are teachers). I have also been involved in education myself and have worked with many people that were educated under the U ...more
Jul 01, 2015 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
This was a great book explaining how the theory of disruptive innovation applies to the world of education. It was very challenging for me to think about why our schools are set up the way they are and the pitfalls of our current structure for our students. The authors gave great insight into how this theory should be applied to education to move education forward for the 21st century. Our students need different skills than in the 20th century if they are going to be successful in the world we ...more
Diana L
Feb 24, 2017 Diana L rated it liked it
There were a few really interesting pieces here, but I left the book wishing its various (often good) points worked together a little more coherently.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education
  • Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America (Technology, Education--Connections) (Technology, Education - Connections (The TEC Series))
  • Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
  • The Global Achievement Gap: Why Our Kids Don't Have the Skills They Need for College, Careers, and Citizenship—and What We Can Do About It
  • American Journeys
  • Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity
  • City: Rediscovering the Center
  • A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
  • Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn
  • 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times
  • Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization
  • Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang
  • Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World
  • Why Don't Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and
  • The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google
  • DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education
Clayton M. Christensen is the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Technology & Operations Management and General Management faculty groups. He is best known for his study of innovation in commercial enterprises. His first book, The Innovator's Dilemma, articulated his theory of disruptive technology.

More about Clayton M. Christensen...

Share This Book

“Motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.” 10 likes
More quotes…