Beacon Press: When the Light Goes On
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When the Light Goes On

The Life-Changing Wonder of Learning in an Age of Metrics, Screens, and Diminish ed Human Connection

Author: Mike Rose

The final work from one of the most beloved voices in American education explores stories and lessons of transformative experiences in education

For more than a generation, American education has been structured as though it was built of and for concepts, not people. This has transformed education into a vast assessment, scoring, and ranking enterprise; a sales platform for high-tech entrepreneurs; and a fiercely competitive arena of advantage and status that grinds the poor and propels the middle class into debt.

In When the Light Goes On, educator Mike Rose features the stories of people of all ages and backgrounds to illuminate how education has added meaning to their lives. The inspiring stories include:

  • A supermarket checker whose job wore away his soul takes a remedial math class that starts him on a path to architecture school
  • A young man badly injured in a motorcycle accident finds both rehabilitation and a career in a welding program
  • A transgender youth’s odyssey to self-definition extends though courses in social sciences and campus advocacy groups
  • A Native American athlete finds graduate study as a way to use her celebrity to articulate the needs of her people

When the Light Goes On helps us dig through the discord and fragmentation of school politics and policy to reclaim the mind and heart of education. Through various students’ stories and his own, Rose provides an urgent reminder of the core purpose of education: to learn about ourselves and the world around us, to spark new interests, and to experience with guidance both the fulfillment and the uncertainty of exploring our limits—all in the service of creating a meaningful life.
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“[The author’s] inspiring accounts offer strong testimony.”

“Mike Rose’s masterful final book, When The Light Goes On, is a reflection on the beauty and magic of learning. But it is not only that—it is also a much-needed reframing, for policy and practice and research, of what learning is and how we talk about it, foster it, and measure it. With meticulous detail and artful storytelling, Rose brings to life the moments when learning changes everything—life trajectories, identities, intellectual engagement, futures. It is fitting that this is his final work, laced with both fear about the state of education and hope that we could reach for something more humanizing, richer, and more connected to the lives and personhood of learners.”
—Dr. Na’ilah Suad Nasir, president of the Spencer Foundation

Foreword, by Christina A. Christie

When the Light Goes On

Anatomy of an Awakening

Learning to Do Things with Books

What Teachers See

From Life Lessons to the Classroom

Expecting More of Yourself

Becoming Smart

Finding Educational Opportunity

How the Light Goes On

On Method

Afterword: Through Light and Shadow, by Power of Opportunity and Experience, by Manuel Espinoza
An Acknowledgment

When the Light Goes On

ISBN: 978-080700853-9
Publication Date: 2/28/2023
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $27.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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