ASCD Talks with Author Frederick M. Hess
Education Unbound: The Promise and Practice of Greenfield Schooling
(February 2010 Member Book)
The greatest barrier to better teaching and learning is the creaky, rule-bound education system itself, says Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and a nationally recognized writer and scholar. In an environment where the most innovative educators must operate by doing end runs around the bureaucracy, it’s no wonder the pace of school reform is so glacially slow.
In this interview, Hess explains that the term greenfield is used by builders when they're trying to develop new communities or new businesses. Greenfield refers to territory that is fresh and fertile, in which the ground is well-prepared to handle what's coming in. The aim of greenfield schooling, then, is to "shift the education sector toward a place that is more inviting and more fertile for people who are trying to solve important problems for kids." Listen to the interview to learn why Hess believes opening up education to more entrepreneurship and innovation will increase equity and will liberate educators to bring schools into the 21st century.
This interview was conducted by Educational Leadership senior editor Deborah Perkins-Gough.