"In Moving from What to What If? John Barell offers compelling guidance for all educators to prepare students for college, careers, and life in the 21st century. Each chapter includes helpful, specific examples of how critical thinking is taught, learned, and assessed in core academic subjects. Data on students' growth as well as district change strategies are offered as well. Barell's contribution is timely and vital reading."
Valerie Greenhill, M.A., M.Ed.
Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer
"I’ve known John Barell as an incisive observer of teachers and students in my school. Now I see the remarkable outcome of his research. His book melds theory, analysis of student work, and sharp-eyed observations of expert teachers into a compelling narrative of what teaching ought to be. He provides thought-provoking examples of teachers who focus on building authentic assessments that cultivate student inquiry and imagination. Barell makes a forceful case for moving away from standardized testing and toward the type of rich project-based learning that the many teachers he depicts have already shown to be effective."
Harvest Collegiate High School
New York City
"In Moving from WHAT to WHAT IF, John Barell offers compelling examples of classrooms that invite students to question and to work collaboratively with each other and their teachers on meaningful problems and towards meaningful learning goals. This is a terrific resource across subject areas for nurturing students' authentic intellectual work."
M. Bruce King, PhD
AIW Institute @ WCEPS
Dept of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin-Madison
"How refreshing. Moving From What to What If? reveals how teachers can significantly increase rigor in the work they give students. By including the experiences of students and the breakthroughs of teachers willing to take risks to improve their own practice, the book shares compelling examples of how to transform student learning and performance. It provides evidence that rich adult and student learning results when teachers dare to move beyond tasks that require simple regurgitation of facts to lessons that engage students in applying their learning to figure out real problems. In particular, the story of the Pike County Schools professional learning journey inspired me.”
The Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement (GLISI)
“John Barell draws on his observations of exceptional educators, careful analysis of student work, ideas from history’s greatest thinkers and his own experience to make a compelling case for ‘authentic work’ and ‘problem based learning.’ ‘Moving from What to What If?’ provides a range of practical strategies to engage student intellect and promote wonder, possibility thinking and problem solving.”
Director of Professional Learning International