Sunday, January 28, 2007

Free book on Project Follow-Through

UPDATE II: Don't miss Chapter 4. It really goes away as promised.

UPDATE I: Chapter 3 of Zig's saga is now available for downloading.

You've got only one more week to download the first chapter of Siegfried Engelmann's opus The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed Kids Later for free. Project Follow-Through was the nation's most extensive, ambitious and costly study of what works in education ever conducted. Its findings did not sit well with the educational establishment's pet notions and beliefs, and the establishment did its best to either ignore or disparage the study.

Helpful hint on downloading: When the text appears in the Adobe Reader, go to the top left and find Save a Copy. Click and the file will download to the designated folder.

Sometimes I wish PDF files had never been invented.

From Zig's site:

Schedule for Chapters of Zig's Latest Book

The Outrage of Project Follow Through:
5 Million Failed Kids Later

Here's the plan: Every week for the next seven weeks, starting January 22, I will post one chapter of the trade book I have written, The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed kids Later. Each chapter will remain on for two weeks. Once it's off, it's off and will not return. There are seven chapters

Chapter 1: Before Project Follow Through (January 22) click for print friendly version
Chapter 2: Project Follow Through Begins (January 29)
Chapter 3: Follow Through Continues (February 5)
Chapter 4: During Follow Through (February 12)
Chapter 5: Follow Through Evaluation (February 19)
Chapter 6: Follow Through Aftermath (February 26)
Chapter 7: The New Millennium (March 5)

You may download chapters, but understand that the material is copyrighted by me and is not to be distributed or published without consent. I still have some hopes of getting it published, but so far I've petitioned 5 literary agents, and none was interested in even reading the book. I'm going to keep trying to find a major publisher that will take the work and publicize it, but in the meantime I figured I'd put out the material for those who are interested. All chapters except the one on evaluation are at least 80 pages.

Prologue to Zig's Latest Book
The book is not designed for educators but for the general public. The events start in 1964, when I got my first job in education (at the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children at the University of Illinois) and proceed from there to the present through a series of first-person vignettes and episodes that present the human side of what we did and why we did it. I think it delivers a powerful message.

Many episodes are dramatic—at least they were when we experienced them. I believe they show that we knew what we were talking about because we'd done more than theorize or observe through the sterile literature. We were completely involved in working with teachers, kids, and schools for more than 20 years in different manifestations of Follow Through. The book also provides short tours of work we've done with various types of learners, from the autistic, those with traumatic brain damage, and the deaf, to preschoolers, at-risk high school students, and the gifted.

The theme of the book is that urban school districts, as they are currently configured, can't possibly work because their structure, logic, and philosophy are anti-scientific. Overall, the book will probably sadden you, but hopefully, it will provide an interesting journey and won't discourage you.

UPDATE: Chapter Two is now available. It won't stay on for long.

Here are the opening lines of Chapter Two:

Project Follow Through Begins

Devious Logic of the 1960s
Project Follow Through, a creation of the ‘60s, was the largest
educational experiment ever conducted, the most responsive effort ever
designed to find out what works well and how to serve at-risk children
effectively. Yet, Follow Through is not recognized as a landmark study or a
source of revelation about how to educate children of poverty effectively. It
remains a secret, both to the public and to the educational community. In
fact, its results have never been used to fashion even one urban school
district, and the project has been all but erased from what serves as the
current idiom of the “history of compensatory education.”


Parentalcation said...

I have to say, I am loving the book so far. Of course I am an amateur education nerd.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving it. Can you remind your regular readers, like me, when the next chapter appears.

Chanman said...

Thanks so much for letting us know about this. I have read some of Engelmann's stuff before, and I have always been impressed.