Jan 2020

Clayton Christensen: Did He Really Disrupt K-12 Education?

By Alyson Klein

Disrupting K-12 schooling. Using technology to personalize learning for every student. Student-centric classrooms. Blended learning.

In 2020, these ideas are well-known in education, to the point of becoming overused buzz words, even as rank-and-file teachers remain highly skeptical that they really have the power to transform K-12.

But back in 2008, they were brand new and perhaps best articulated in the book “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns” by Clayton Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson, and Michael B. Horn.

Horn, one of Christensen’s co-authors, said it’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, schools are moving forward to better customize learning using technology and other strategies. On the other? It’s not easy to transform a large, bureaucratic system.


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