Transforming America’s Education – by Peter Kline

Transforming American Education: The School Bell’s Ringing; Is Anyone Listening?“Transforming America’s Education: The School Bell’s Ringing; Is Anyone Listening?” In it are 16 articles by the renowned writer on educational issues, Peter Kline. Three of Peter’s other books are listed in our book list in this site. Peter takes up a variety of concerns from his vast experienced personal repertoire, including his first-hand challenges as a secondary school teacher, descriptions of evolving neuro-scientific breakthroughs that could dramatically affect learning, current critiques of how we teach and how students learn, and an indictment of the roadblocks caused by educational bureaucracies. Eye2theWorld is making this eBook available for purchase at only $5.99.

Peter Kline

Author Peter Kline


Peter Kline is a broker and developer of state of the art learning systems. He has authored over 15 books and many articles on education, literature and the arts. He is a founder of The Thornton Friends School, one of the leading private schools in the Metropolitan Washington D. C. area. This school is the main subject of a chapter entitled “Creating Great Schools” in Reclaiming Our Children by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.

For the past twenty years, he has been involved with various innovative learning programs, especially integrative-accelerative learning, a process that restores a blend of creativity and critical thinking to the educational process and focuses on organizational learning program systems enhancement. He is currently expanding this interest with the development of new approaches to cognitive skills education and the creation of instructional programs.

His latest books include Why America’s Children Can’t Think, Ten Steps to a Learning Organization, The Everyday Genius, School Success: The Inside Story, The Butterfly Dreams and The Genesis Principle. In preparation is an eighteen year research project culminating in three volumes entitled The Shakespeare Mysteries.

Kline includes among his activities the role (as a consultant) of Director of Instruction and Learning with the Learning Enhancement Corporation in Chicago, which is dedicated to developing and distributing state of the art learning improvement programs. This includes school transformation projects. In the process he is not only involved in the development of the LEC BrainWare product, but also new state of the art developmental reading and math programs. He is also working with a number of groups that are collectively creating an international approach to developing and distributing innovative learning methods.

His work in education has been referenced and discussed in several landmark books, including The Learning Revolution, Accelerated Learning (including revised, updated edition), Effective Secondary Teaching: Beyond the Bell Curve, and Grits, Guts and Genius. The latter devoted an entire chapter to his work at Chicago’s Guggenheim Elementary School and at Eastman Kodak. His chapter on mathematics instruction appears in Robert Sorensen’s Preventing Early Learning Failure, published by the American Society of Curriculum Development. Kline’s book, The Story of Numbers, has also been made into a short film.

In 1990 and 1991, Kline worked with Eastman Kodak and the New York State Public Schools to develop major programs for teacher training and corporate culture change. This process saved Eastman Kodak 40% on its training costs and produced results that were 27 times as effective as those previously achieved in the same area of training. The program was the subject of a major article in Management Review.

In addition to his work with schools and corporations, Kline has been involved in welfare to workforce programs in Elkhart, Michigan City, Fort Wayne, Valparaiso and Gary, Indiana, Camden, New Jersey, Oakland, California, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – with a particular focus on job training and enhancement of quality of employee performance. Among many corporations, schools and non-profits he has worked with Kodak, Norwest Banks, Bellcore, Bellcore TEC, Ameritech, Learning Strategies, IDS, Detroit Center for Professional Growth and Development, North American Sign Company, Hamline University, Prince George’s Community College, SpeakEasy Language School, Boy Scouts of America, California Youth Authority, New York State Department of Adult Education, Wegman’s, Intel, Sandia Labs, Intel, Honeywell, Northeastern Indiana TQM Network, U. S. West, TPS Corporation, Laubach Literacy, Literacy Volunteers of America, South San Francisco’s Literacy Program, Fort Lauderdale Literacy Program and the Canadian Department of External Affairs Foreign Service Institute. He has also worked with many school systems, including in Chicago, IL; Minneapolis and St. Paul,MN; Brooklyn, Queens, North Syracuse, Rochester, and Utica, NY; Washington, D. C.; Fort Wayne, Goshen, Elkhart, Concord, and South Bend, IN; Kalamazoo and Detroit, MI, and Arlington, VA.

Kline’s achievements in the field of educational reform have been the subject of two PBS TV documentaries: The Everyday Genius and Learning in the Workplace: The Key to Quality and Productivity. He is currently working on a Flagship Schools project to develop schools that volunteer to become modelschools for what is currently the best way of educating children that can be assembled from learning resources available worldwide. Kline also works with corporations to develop tools for increasing their efficiency and effectiveness, primarily from transforming them into learning organizations in which all employees are involved in an open book approach to quality improvement.

The School Bell’s Ringing.
Is Anyone Listening?

Published by

Articles from the heart of Peter Kline,
One of America’s foremost education critics

Copyright 2012

Peter Kline’s writings have covered a multitude of topics concerning what and how we educate our children but none more important than his becoming  a disciple of Accelerated Leaning (AL). Here are a series of statements about  AL as developed by The Accelerated Learning Center in Lake Geneva, WI:

What is Accelerated Learning?

Accelerated learning (A.L.) is the most advanced teaching and learning method in use today. It’s a total system for speeding and enhancing both the design process and the learning processes. Based on the latest brain research, it has proven again and again to increase learning effectiveness while saving time and money in the process.

Many of today’s leading organizations and educational institutions are benefiting from the power of accelerated learning.

What makes accelerated learning so effective is that it’s based on the way we all naturally learn.

A.L. unlocks much of our potential for learning that has been left largely untapped by most conventional learning methods. It does this by actively involving the whole person, using physical activity, creativity, music, images, color, and other methods designed to get people deeply involved in their own learning.

According to accelerated learning, here’s what people need for an optimal learning environment:

A Positive Learning Environment. People learn best in a positive physical, emotional, and social environment, one that is both relaxed and stimulating. A sense of wholeness, safety, interest, and enjoyment is essential for optimizing human learning.

Total Learner Involvement. People learn best when they are totally and actively involved and take full responsibility for their own learning. Learning is not a spectator sport but a participatory one. Knowledge is not something a learner passively absorbs, but something a learner actively creates. Thus A.L. tends to be more activity-based rather than materials-based or presentations-based.

Collaboration Among Learners. People generally learn best in an environment of collaboration. All good learning tends to be social. Whereas traditional learning emphasizes competition between isolated individuals, A.L. emphasizes collaboration between learners in a learning community.

Variety That Appeals To All Learning Styles. People learn best when they have a rich variety of learning options that allows them to use all their senses and exercise their preferred learning style. Rather than thinking of a learning program as a one-dish meal, A.L. thinks of it as a results-driven, learner-centered smorgasbord.

Contextual Learning. People learn best in context. Facts and skills learned in isolation are hard to absorb and quick to evaporate. The best learning comes from doing the work itself in a continual process of “real-world” immersion, feedback, reflection, evaluation, and reimmersion.

Accelerated learning has really one aim, though: to get results. Accelerated learning is paying off handsomely for many organizations. Here are just a few examples.

Also, see our Tips and Techniques and Workshop pages for some additional A.L. successes.

The Guiding Principles of Accelerated Learning

1. Learning Involves the Whole Mind and Body. Learning is not all merely “head” learning (conscious, rational, “left-brained,” and verbal) but involves the whole body/mind with all its emotions, senses, and receptors.

2. Learning is Creation, Not Consumption. Knowledge is not something a learner absorbs, but something a learner creates. Learning happens when a learner integrates new knowledge and skill into his or her existing structure of self. Learning is literally a matter of creating new meanings, new neural networks, and new patterns of electro/chemical interactions within one’s total brain/body system.

3. Collaboration Aids Learning. All good learning has a social base. We often learn more by interacting with peers than we learn by any other means. Competition between learners slows learning. Cooperation among learners speeds it. A genuine learning community is always better for learning than a collection of isolated individuals.

4. Learning Takes Place on Many Levels Simultaneously. Learning is not a matter of absorbing one little thing at a time in linear fashion, but absorbing many things at once. Good learning engages people on many levels simultaneously (conscious and paraconscious, mental and physical) and uses all the receptors and senses and paths it can into a person’s total brain/body system. The brain, after all, is not a sequential, but a parallel processor and thrives when it is challenged to do many things at once.

5. Learning Comes From Doing the Work Itself (With Feedback). People learn best in context. Things learned in isolation are hard to remember and quick to evaporate. We learn how to swim by swimming, how to manage by managing, how to sing by singing, how to sell by selling, and how to care for customers by caring for customers. The real and the concrete are far better teachers than the hypothetical and the abstract – provided there is time for total immersion, feedback, reflection, and reimmersion.

6. Positive Emotions Greatly Improve Learning. Feelings determine both the quality and quantity of one’s learning. Negative feelings inhibit learning. Positive feelings accelerate it. Learning that is stressful, painful, and dreary can’t hold a candle to learning that is joyful, relaxed, and engaging.

7. The Image Brain Absorbs Information Instantly and Automatically. The human nervous system is more of an image processor than a word processor. Concrete images are much easier to grasp and retain than are verbal abstractions. Translating verbal abstractions into concrete images of all kinds will make those verbal abstractions faster to learn and easier to remember.


Here are the titles of Peter’s articles. Note how they closely resemble the Guiding Princiiples stated by the Accelerated Learning Center.


  Article 1. Bringing Educational theories and Practices up to Date

 Article 2. Antonio Damasio and the Feeling Brain 

 Article 3. the Neurological Facts About How People Learn 

 Article 4. Peter Kline’s Comments on Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero’s Article

“The Raw Truth About Persuasion and Copywriting”

 Article 5. Using Group Process to Help Students Evolve

Their Own Methods of Learning

 Article 6. The Body as a Musical Instrument 

 Article 7. How to Enhance the Quality of Parenting

 Article 8. Intelligent Design: A Chance for Intelligent Debate

 Article 9. Art and Children’s Questions

 Article 10. The Future of Education 

 Article 11. The Flagship Schools Program 

 Article 12. Educating the New Tribal Culture 

 Article 13. Shifting the Educational Paradigm  

 Article 14. Will Today’s Schools survive the Next Decade? 

 Article 15. The Importance of Mindset in Education

 Article 16. Reading From Both Sides of the Brain

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