The Spirit of Education Available Free on the Web

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Author jeff white has released his new book, "The Spirit of Education," as an e-book. It is available free of charge on his website,

jeff white, a former elementary teacher and university teacher educator, has released his new book, "The Spirit of Education," as a free e-book. The complete text is available on his website, He also offers a printed version, published through Dirt Sheep Press.

"The Spirit of Education" is an examination of education at its most basic: what is education? How might it best be accomplished? And how well do our schools reflect those basics?

jeff white wrote "The Spirit of Education" as a response to his disenchantment with the field after twelve years of teaching, both at the elementary and university level. “The promise of education,” he says, “hasn’t been realized in our public institutions.” His book doesn’t simply criticize schools, however; it offers a model of learning that honors each individual’s unique promise.

“Education is a great equalizer,” jeff says. “But schools take that promise of equality and instead give us sameness. Schools steam the uniqueness out of us. Education evokes that uniqueness.”

In writing the book, jeff attempts to begin anew our conversations about education. He suggests that we start not with what students ought to know, but what humans are. Education, he believes, isn’t something that must happen in specialized buildings at the hands of experts. Learning, rather, is one of the most basic tropisms of human beings. “We learn,” he says, “because that is how we become who we are.”

Readers have been responding:

“During my ten years as a high school principal I had a few teachers that truly inspired their pupils toward their potential. Far too many others spent their time preparing their students for “test taking,” thinking they were preparing them for life. Don’t get me started on that. Your book certainly deserves a broad readership. The issues you address are current and critical to the future of education in this country.”

--Charles Wildman, a public school administrator

“Jeff White has written a provocative and solidly-argued analysis of the educational system in the United States. His thinking is based in his own experiences as an educator, but he seeks to transcend the narrow bounds of much of the current talk of the ‘crisis in education.’ We should have a wide-ranging discussion of the premises and future of education in this country, and Jeff White’s should be a voice in that conversation.”

--Glenn Perusek, author, Shifting Terrain: Essays on Politics, History and Society (New York, Peter Lang, 2006)

“Remembering the dull education tomes required as a part of teacher credentialing, I approached the book timidly and skeptically. But it is introducing me to provocative ideas, compelling arguments, unfamiliar territory, challenging questions, and haunting parallels to organizational life outside of the traditional education setting.”

--William Greenwood, management consultant

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About the Author

jeff white taught Kindergarten through 8th grade in a one-room schoolhouse for four years before becoming a teacher educator. He holds an M.A. in curriculum and instruction, and a Ph.D. in adult education.


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