Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture” as Want to Read:
Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  25 reviews
While reformers and policymakers focus on achievement gaps, testing, and accountability, millions of students mentally and emotionally disengage from learning and many gifted teachers leave the field. Ironically, today's schooling is damaging the single most essential component to education--the joy of learning

How do we recognize the wounds caused by outdated schooling pol
Paperback, 222 pages
Published April 23rd 2009 by Teachers College Press (first published 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wounded by School, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wounded by School

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-52
Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  25 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
As a former public school teacher and a current homeschooling mom, I was very interested in reading this book. I think the author makes good arguments for changing the way our schools educate our youth but first universities need to alter the way future teachers are prepared.
Reading Wounded by School has prompted me to make some changes in our homeschool. I have asked my children what they want to learn this coming school year. I discovered my eldest son would rather study US Government than a 3
Deven Black
Nov 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teachers, school administrators, legislators, parents
Recommended to Deven by: the author
Shelves: professional
Excellent review of how school is damaging to so many students, how it destroys creativity, drive and sense of self. Classroom tested ways to restore some sense of joy in school, joy in becoming educated, give one a small sense of hope.
Michael Kleen
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
In this problematic book, Kirsten Olson argues not only that the ‘factory model’ of education is ineffective and even injurious to students, but that it is incapable of producing the kind of creative minds that our contemporary American workforce demands. Underlying her thesis is the notion that the emotion of joy, specifically the “joy of learning,” is the single most essential component to education, and that the experience of joy has been lost in the soul-crushing, day to day routine of Ameri ...more
Sydney Walker
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read Wounded By School and cried. My daughter went through so many things Kirsten talks about in her book. Having the opportunity to meet Kirsten Olsen and thanking her for having the courage to write this book was wonderful. We had a great opportunity to sit and talk about what our educational system is doing to our children! Teaching to the test, being more concerned about test scores that about individuals is what is hurting our educational system. Differentiated instruction and meeting a s ...more
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Overall, this book offered some great insights into how our public school systems are broken and how they have, in the process, wounded students and teachers on many levels. Toward the end, I was disappointed that the suggestions she offered were not as creative, practical or applicable as I had anticipated after such a strong start at the beginning of the book. She suggests home-schooling as an option for students, and that just seems like a "cop-out" solution to me, not that home-schooling is ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Probably a much better read for people who need ammunition for advocating for alternative schools than it is for pre-service teachers.

The anarchist/fatalist in me liked all the suggestions of "drop-out, try home-schooling, open 24 hour schools where students just come in whenever they want", but the other part of me would have appreciated some more tangible suggestions for reaching out to students who feel alienated in the education system.
Anne Jordan-Baker
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, parenting
The only book I've ever read that addresses how parents can talk to their children about school when the values of the school and family don't completely match. This book is also great for taking people's early school experiences seriously. Lots of stories, many from students with various special needs including adhd and learning disabilities. I'm buying this book to have at home. There's no higher compliment I can give than that. ...more
Jan 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Yuck. As a teacher, I was so interested in reading this book. I was disappointed by its desire to blame everything on the classroom. Not only unfair but unreasonable. I had a sense that the author was trying to work out her own childhood wounds. I do not recommend this book to anyone who is trying to educate children.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book. It doesn't cover all the ways we can be wounded by school, but it provides a framework to start talking about the ways the institution of school is damaging and how we might improve it. ...more
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
"The timeliness of this book falling into my hands cannot be ignored. My son is a brilliant child. He knows more about dinosaurs and space, and did by the age of four, than I ever will in my entire life. At age four, he drew and created his own book a Blue s Clues book that actually had three different clues on different pages and a summary page, just like the TV show. He s already been moved up a grade and yet& last year was a horrible school year. He failed to do any homework, shoved papers in ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Olson raises a lot of good points and draws attention to major flaws in our education system...mainly how schools/teachers wound students in eight different ways. Many of the stories shared in the book brought me to tears. The only thing the book was lacking was a focus on how to help with healing the wounds.
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a book I had to read for school which was pretty much a sob story about how every single student is wounded by this or that and is not being served by the American education system. I agree that public education is not a good fit for every single student and that there are problems with it, however, I prefer to be more proactive rather than sitting and whining about it!
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
A powerful book which both examines the flawed educational system in the US from an academic standpoint, and gives heartwrenching personal stories of "successful" adults as examples of how damaging school experiences can be. ...more
Jen McCoy
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was a required reading for my class and I pretty much hated this book. The whole thing revolved around how "wounding" school was for students because of scores on standardized testing. Please. ...more
Jonna Higgins-Freese
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tried-but-quit
Couldn't read it -- it was too vivid, too painful for this current moment of my life. ...more
Barbara Lovejoy
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book! We need to do a better job with our students--all our students.
Oct 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was one of my dissertation books--a good read.
Jul 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Not much to say...but it is a MUST read for anyone who's attended school, or everyone. It's that good. I'm going to keep this book to use in later years. ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read on the impact of our educational establishment.
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
pretty amazing stuff to think about, very easy to relate to.
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Some sections are worth reading while other stuff is more for the academic.
Quite a few insightful ideas but somewhat hindered by the fact that it blindly and singlemindedly presents middle class values and representations.
Priscilla Hansen
rated it really liked it
Aug 16, 2019
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2015
rated it really liked it
Jul 18, 2012
rated it really liked it
Dec 23, 2011
is currently reading it
Apr 25, 2009
added it
Jun 17, 2009
marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2009
marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2009
added it
Sep 25, 2009
marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2009
marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2009
marked it as to-read
Oct 27, 2009
marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2009
marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2009
marked it as to-read
Dec 12, 2009
added it
Jan 20, 2010
marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2010
Meenoo Rami
marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2010
added it
Feb 16, 2010
marked it as to-read
Feb 21, 2010
marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2010
Dylan Depoali
marked it as to-read
Feb 25, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Guts (Smile, #3)
  • Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)
  • On Tour (Girl Online #2)
  • Going Solo (Girl Online, #3)
  • Women Talking
  • The Wake Trilogy (Wake #1-3)
  • Enticing Hard-to-Reach Writers
  • Temptation (Goodnight Kiss, #1-2)
  • Sulwe
  • Last Stop on Market Street
  • Just the Funny Parts: ... And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys' Club
  • Columbine
  • The Cool Bean (The Bad Seed, #3)
  • The Good Egg (The Bad Seed, #2)
  • Long Way Down
  • Tales of a Korean Grandmother: 32 Traditional Tales from Korea
  • Apex Hides the Hurt
  • Seeking Common Ground: Public Schools in a Diverse Society
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Nature, in Her infinite awesomeness, can provide solace even when you’re stuck in the house. As a matter of fact, the numbers suggest that...
95 likes · 14 comments
“The middle class and upper middle class are highly attached to the institution of school explicitly as a sorting mechanism, as a way of justifying privileges of which middle-class members are already central beneficiaries. These critics suggest that the entire notion of schools as meritocracies actually reifies and reinforces class privilege--making those whom school rewards (those who already have a lot of benefits) feel they deserve the privileges they have.” 1 likes
“In addition to labeling kids who learn differently as problematic, sometimes defective, most schools classify, track, and categorize students from very early ages. As an abundance of research studies confirm, these classifications tend to become self-perpetuating and self-confirming. My interviewees illuminate the ways in which grades, tests, and opportunities to learn are often arbitrary or related to class, race, and gender. In the supposed meritocracy of schooling, these markers and estimations have profound impact, not just structuring how we fit into the learning hierarchy of an individual classroom, but who we are who whom we believe we will become.” 0 likes
More quotes…