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ReAwakening the Learner: Creating Learner-centric, Standards-driven Schools

By Copper Stoll, PhD and Gene Giddings, MA
Purchase here on Amazon


learnerTransformation of public education requires the reawakening of the sleeping giant in the room—the learners—and the development of a learner-centric, standards-driven school. Reawakening the Learner is a guide to creating an environment in which educators and administrators partner with learners, thereby replacing adult-driven routines with learner-centric practices. This book explains how to reinvent public education in which all students may reach proficiency on the standards.


Common moral purpose must be driven by beliefs and behaviors that support all learners. School culture must be developed to accept change, encourage constructive criticism, and nurture collective efficacy. This new culture will support the components of the learner improvement cycle (assessment, evaluation, planning, and learning) by involving the learners during each step of the cycle.




Endorsements for Reawakening the Learner


Today’s leaders grappling with challenging the status quo will appreciate this book as a road map for common sense solutions as it outlines strategies that will, without a doubt, make learning more engaging and meaningful for the student and teacher alike.”

Roberta Selleck, PhD

Superintendent of Schools, Freeport SD 145, Illinois


“There has never been a greater sense of urgency for educational reform in our country than now. Today’s students cannot wait any longer for us to bring education into the 21st century. The major themes presented by Mr. Gene Giddings and Dr. Copper Stoll are the perfect blueprint for any district to move forward with real sustained educational reform.”

Brian Hanson

Superintendent of Schools, Mancos Re-6 School District, Mancos, Colorado


“Reawakening the Learner is a rousing text that will be invaluable for any teacher, administrator, or parent. The book goes beyond describing small changes like introducing new instructional strategies and focuses on creating the conditions for students to “reawaken” into interdependent learners. The book is invaluable to educators because it alone can be used as a step-by-step guide for making the dramatic changes necessary to shift into a true 21st century educational system.  The insight provided by stories from students, parents, teachers, and administrators who have implemented this transformation provide real-world examples of successes and failures that are priceless. This book belongs on all educators “must-read” list!”

Nikolaus Namba, M. A.

Chief Academic Officer, Ingenium Schools, Compton and Woodland Hills, California


“This is not a book for failing schools. It is a book that should join all of us: parents, students, policy makers, teachers, principals, school boards and businesses to the national dialogue about educating our next generation of citizens.  It tackles educational reform, not classroom by classroom, or school by school but as a national system.  The authors point out real problems in our school system and offer real solutions using a framework that can be implemented at all levels of the system.  Finally, a book that blends the theoretical need for systemic change with real-life practical application! We owe it to our children to read this book.”

Katheryn Keyes, M.A.

Assistant Principal, Boulder High School, Boulder, Colorado


“The authors make a convincing argument for change from an antiquated educational system designed for proficiency for some to a system designed for proficiency for all.  We can no longer allow learners to be passive bystanders in their education.  This book provides a comprehensive process to bring about the necessary change in public education.”

Alison Sholler Mund

Elementary Education Teacher, Adams County School District 50, Westminster, Colorado


Highly Recommended from Choice Magazine:


More than 25,000 academic librarians, faculty, and key decision makers rely on the reviews in Choice magazine and Choice Reviews Online for collection development and scholarly research. Choice reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States. All readership levels. — K. Layton, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

“Stoll and Giddings offer a compelling argument for today’s struggling public schools. Working from a learner-centric, standards-driven platform, they walk the reader through the problems with today’s schools, noting the need to align six critical systems: learner, classroom, school, central office, district board of education, state legislature, and state department of education. With “proficiency for all” as their guiding light, Stoll and Giddings provide the steps for and discuss the challenges of creating a culture of continuous improvement from planning to implementation. Not surprisingly, significant changes in practices at the classroom and school levels are recommended, as well as the initiation of a national dialogue to support the transformation. Most impressively, and unlike many authors recommending substantial changes to public education, Stoll and Giddings have embedded their recommendations in the actual transformation of a school district, including reflections of principals, teachers, students, and parents. Given that all chapters begin with thought-provoking guiding questions and end with key points, the reader is assured of understanding the authors’ recommendations on this critical topic. Given the current national agenda regarding Common Core State Standards, this book a must read for everyone concerned about the future of public schooling in the US. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”


• 5.0 out of 5 stars This is where education needs to go! July 12, 2012 By Richard DeLorenzo

“If you are looking for all of the pieces of where education needs to go, this is the book. Although somewhat technical there are so many gems about changing the culture of schools. The focus is on children and why they should be the center of the conversation. The graphic organizers give gradations of what this should look like. A must-read for those who want to move away from a time-based system and move towards a personalized-mastery; one that will meet the needs of all children.”


Reawakening the Learner:  Principles and Tools to Create School Systems to Achieve Personalized Mastery- 2nd Edition

By Copper Stoll, PhD and Gene Giddings, MA

With Contributions from Katheryn Keyes and Cristina Leal

Just Published! November 2015



The purpose of this book with an embedded toolkit is to support your journey in implementing a personalized mastery classroom.  Children and young adults have a natural tendency to want to be independent and creative.  This book and toolkit is designed to give you tools and processes to awaken each student’s excitement in learning, not just to show what they know and can do on a standardized test, but for his/her love of learning. For too long teachers have been working hard to give students everything they need to know and students waiting passively and compliantly (sometimes not so much! 🙂 to be told what to do.  Our current structure of public education has depended on this age-dependent, grade bound structure.  That was fine for the 19th and 20th century but we live in different times now.  Students cannot possibly be taught everything they need to know and be able to do.  We have to teach them the skills of being a learner.  We need to empower them to take charge of their learning and seek out problems to solve to make the world a better place. Please contact us for more information!