Chelsea Green Publishing


Pages:216 pages
Size: 5.375 x 8.375 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603582346
Pub. Date April 01, 2010


Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
April 01, 2010


The price of college tuition has increased more than any other major good or service for the last twenty years. Nine out of ten American high school seniors aspire to go to college, yet the United States has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Almost half of college students don't graduate; those who do have unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt, which constitutes a credit bubble similar to the mortgage crisis.

The system particularly fails the first-generation, the low-income, and students of color who predominate in coming generations. What we need to know is changing more quickly than ever, and a rising tide of information threatens to swamp knowledge and wisdom. America cannot regain its economic and cultural leadership with an increasingly ignorant population. Our choice is clear: Radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never having enough of it.

The roots of the words "university" and "college" both mean community. In the age of constant connectedness and social media, it's time for the monolithic, millennium-old, ivy-covered walls to undergo a phase change into something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid.

The future lies in personal learning networks and paths, learning that blends experiential and digital approaches, and free and open-source educational models. Increasingly, you will decide what, when, where, and with whom you want to learn, and you will learn by doing. The university is the cathedral of modernity and rationality, and with our whole civilization in crisis, we are poised on the brink of Reformation.


"A fascinating and provocative book."--John Merrow, Education Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, and President, Learning Matters, Inc.

"Anya Kamenetz brilliantly reveals the illogic and wasteful inequities of America's blind faith in higher education. Her book will be devastating for older people who still believe one more graduate degree is the road to personal success and a prosperous economy. Younger people will feel relief that someone has finally told the truth about their predicament. Kamenetz offers a radically different way to think about the future and she gives young people a more rational and promising way to think about theirs."--William Greider, author of Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country, and National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation

"Kamenetz shows us 'higher education' as a crumbling facade. It doesn't work well or deliver on its promise. Meanwhile, a thousand alternative flowers are beginning to bloom and the means for any of us to educate ourselves have become available. Let's get on with it."--James Marcus Bach, author of Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar

"Anya Kamenetz takes the reader on a journey through the challenges and opportunities facing the American education system. Her compelling narrative brings alive a thoroughly researched description on the history (and future) of the university. She provides not only a thoughtful critique of American academia, but also provides creative solutions as well as provocative advice on how students should take control of their own educational future."--Mike Dover, co-author of Wikibrands: How to Build A Business in a Customer-Controlled Marketplace

"Anya Kamenetz is one of the best reporters and commentators on the millennial generation and its economic future. In DIY U, she offers a provocative, highly-readable take on the growing challenge of ensuring an affordable college education, and she envisions an alternative path that would shake up the established order and radically transform how we learn."--David Halperin, Director, Campus Progress, and Senior Vice President, Center for American Progress

"Never before has a college degree been more important, making the need to address the failure of many higher ed institutions to deliver on that promise that much more critical. Kamenetz captures a higher ed system on the brink of dramatic transformation, and paints two provocative futures: revolution from within the system and disruption from the outside. This is valuable reading for higher education leaders, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in understanding how innovation and market forces can begin to drive real and necessary change."--Josh Jarrett, Senior Program Officer for Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"A vibrant democracy depends on vibrant education. Anya Kamenetz shows a way to shake up education to release more potential at every level. The transition won't be easy for institutions mired in the past, but students will have more--and better--options in a world in which knowledge increasingly must bypass gatekeepers and find new paths."--Naomi Wolf, bestselling author of The End of America and Give Me Liberty

"Anya Kamenetz offers a thoughtful and much-needed call to rethink higher education in a world of spiraling tuition costs, a 50 percent college drop-out rate and a growing understanding that the one-size-fits-all college model is broken. According to Kamenetz, it's high time to put student learning at the center of the educational process. This book is not only a smart and forward-thinking look at new and exciting trends in self-directed higher learning, it's also a smart resource guide for students and their families anxious to take their education into their own hands."--Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review-
Kamenetz, author of the alarming personal finance expose Generation Debt, drops another bombshell on the emerging cohort of young Americans, this time regarding higher education. While she mounts a standard (though illuminating) attack on spiraling tuition and the bottomless pit of student loans, Kamenetz also questions the fundamental assumptions of modern American education culture: the twin, contradictory ideas that college must be universally accessible, and that the smallest accepted denomination of educational currency is a bachelor's degree from a four-year, liberal arts institution. Kamenetz explores those ideas' fallacies as they play out daily in American classrooms, as well as students' myriad alternatives, from community colleges to online learning collectives. In great detail, Kamenetz explains the flawed economic models that underpin higher education, the faulty premises they maintain and the government's failures to address them. Kamenetz's approach is methodical and balanced, showcasing extensive research and thoughtfulness, while acknowledging one of the chief problems with reform: no one wants to experiment on their own child. This volume merits consideration from high school students and their parents, as well as educators preparing a generation for uncertain job prospects, an information economy still in its infancy, and the steady erosion of geographical barriers.


Anya Kamenetz

Anya Kamenetz is a staff writer for Fast Company magazine. The Village Voice nominated her for a Pulitzer Prize for contributions to the feature series Generation Debt, which became a book in 2006. She has written for the New York Times, appeared on CNN and National Public Radio, and been featured as a "Yahoo Finance Expert." A frequent speaker nationwide, Kamenetz blogs at, The Huffington Post, and She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.


Ask Anya: How do you see Web 2.0 education affecting traditional tutoring?

Anya Kamenetz on Alternative Education (Extended)

Anya Kamenetz on Brian Lehrer

Anya Kamenetz talks about Generation Y and the workforce

Anya Kamenetz talks about Generation Y and the workforce

DIY U: Anya Kamenetz on the Transformation of Higher Education (Part 1)

DIY U: Anya Kamenetz on the Transformation of Higher Education (Part 1)

Anya Kamenetz on Alternative Education


Systems Thinking For Social Change

Systems Thinking For Social Change

By David Peter Stroh

Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation.

How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results.

Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert.

Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people end homelessness and increase affordable housing, improve public health, strengthen public education and access to early childhood development services, protect child welfare, reform the criminal justice system, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more.

The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.

Available in: Paperback

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Systems Thinking For Social Change

David Peter Stroh

Paperback $24.95

Future Scenarios

Future Scenarios

By David Holmgren

In Future Scenarios, permaculture co-originator and leading sustainability innovator David Holmgren outlines four scenarios that bring to life the likely cultural, political, agricultural, and economic implications of peak oil and climate change, and the generations-long era of “energy descent” that faces us.

“Scenario planning,” Holmgren explains, “allows us to use stories about the future as a reference point for imagining how particular strategies and structures might thrive, fail, or be transformed.”

Future Scenarios depicts four very different futures. Each is a permutation of mild or destructive climate change, combined with either slow or severe energy declines. Probable futures, explains Holmgren, range from the relatively benign Green Tech scenario to the near catastrophic Lifeboats scenario.

As Adam Grubb, founder of the influential Energy Bulletin website, says, “These aren’t two-dimensional nightmarish scenarios designed to scare people into environmental action. They are compellingly fleshed-out visions of quite plausible alternative futures, which delve into energy, politics, agriculture, social, and even spiritual trends. What they do help make clear are the best strategies for preparing for and adapting to these possible futures.”

Future Scenarios provides brilliant and balanced consideration of the world’s options and will prove to be one of the most important books of the year.

Available in: Paperback

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Future Scenarios

David Holmgren

Paperback $12.00

Occupy World Street

Occupy World Street

By Ross Jackson

Ordinary citizens the world over have long paid the price for the swashbuckling behavior of the corporate and political elite. We've seen the reigning establishment widen the gap between rich and poor, champion endless growth on a finite planet, wreak havoc on developing nations, and ravage ecosystems in a mad race for natural resources.

Now, as demonstrators worldwide demand change, Occupy World Street offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.

In this refreshingly detailed plan, Ross Jackson shows how a handful of small nations could take on a leadership role; create new alliances, new governance, and new global institutions; and, in cooperation with grassroots activists, pave the way for other nations to follow suit.

Available in: Paperback

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Occupy World Street

Hazel Henderson, Ross Jackson

Paperback $19.95

The World According to Monsanto (DVD)

The World According to Monsanto (DVD)

By Marie-Monique Robin

Monsanto's controversial past combines some of the most toxic products ever sold with misleading reports, pressure tactics, collusion, and attempted corruption. They now race to genetically engineer (and patent) the world's food supply, which profoundly threatens our health, environment, and economy. Combining secret documents with first-hand accounts by victims, scientists, and politicians, this widely praised film exposes why Monsanto has become the world's poster child for malignant corporate influence in government and technology.

Also on the DVD:
Your Milk on Drugs—Just Say No!, A film by Jeffrey M. Smith

Dairy products from cows treated with Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) may sharply increase cancer risk and other diseases, especially in children. Already banned in most industrialized nations, it was approved in the U.S. on the backs of fired whistleblowers, manipulated research, and a corporate takeover at the FDA. This must-see film includes footage prepared for a Fox TV station—canceled after a letter from Monsanto's attorney threatened "dire consequences."

Bonus CD:
"Don't Put That in Your Mouth," a speech by Jeffrey M. Smith

You'll want to stop eating genetically modified foods after you learn how they're linked to toxic and allergic reactions; sick, sterile, and dead livestock; and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals.

Available in: DVD

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The World According to Monsanto (DVD)

Jeffrey M. Smith, Marie-Monique Robin

DVD $19.95