To Create the World That Ought to Be:
Memoirs of a Radical Educator
By Arnie Langberg with Mark S. Moore (2023)
Exploring possibilities for improving our schools and our world, through the life and work of a visionary educator
Earthville Press is delighted to announce the publication of To Create the World That Ought to Be: Memoirs of a Radical Educator, the autobiography of trailblazing school reformer, principal, and teacher Arnie Langberg.
The book follows Arnie through his epic, five-decade career as a heroic reformer of public education, gathering insights into humanity and highlighting innovative, road-tested solutions to pressing problems, while raising potent questions for our collective future along the way.
Arnie’s story will appeal not only to anyone interested in learning, teaching, or education reform, but also to anyone keen to explore the dynamics of change — both in individuals and in society. In fact, this memoir reads more like an inspired manifesto for change-making than a conventional autobiography.
Arnie’s incisive analysis of the root causes of the shortcomings in our conventional school systems (and the shortcomings in our society that generate and perpetuate them) invites us to question many common assumptions about learning and about teaching, including some we might not have known we had. Again and again, we see him finding fruitful — and refreshingly human — responses to the myriad obstacles to real learning and good teaching that he encounters in his work. And we discover that, because these solutions are rooted in penetrating insight into universal human experience, they are applicable wherever one finds humans.
That is to say, the effectiveness of Arnie’s radically innovative approach is not limited to particular demographics, but rather has proven to be equally successful in inner cities, suburbs, rural America, and internationally. The truths that emerge through Arnie’s narrative are profoundly on-target yet somehow easily overlooked until someone with Arnie’s experience-sharpened wisdom brings them to our attention.
Arnie’s life and career are extraordinary and consequential, yet his raconteur’s voice is lighthearted and graced with good-natured humor, brimming (even at 89) with the excitement of someone who genuinely loves life, learning, his fellow humans, and a good challenge for a good cause. The result is a delightfully uplifting exploration of big themes that elsewhere are often treated with heavier hands. His style in writing is true to his style in life: boldly direct in its confrontations of challenging human truths and yet always focusing brightly on the graceful path to resolution.
Where can I find the book?
To Create the World That Ought to Be is now available for purchase worldwide in hardcover, paperback, and eBook formats. You can order it from your favorite local bookshop or online bookseller now.
- Tattered Cover (a local bookstore in Arnie’s hometown of Denver, Colorado)
- Available for order now at most bookshops and online booksellers (e.g. Barnes & Noble, Amazon)
- Other booksellers (coming soon)
For those who prefer the digital ePUB format, the best place to get it will be right here, where it will be available for download by August 10th.
If you’d like us to let you know when the book becomes available in other formats and at other outlets, you can subscribe to our notification list here (we won’t spam you and you can unsubscribe easily at any time).
Also, you can support the spread of these world-changing ideas and help make them accessible to people regardless of income by asking your local public library to order a copy of the book.
About the Author
Arnie Langberg’s 50-year career in public education included serving as teacher, principal, administrator, and reformer. In 1957, he cofounded the Iota Society, an interdisciplinary learning program for students and their parents in New York. In 1970, he cofounded one of the first public alternative high schools in the USA, the Great Neck Village School. In 1975, Arnie became the first principal of Mountain Open High School in Colorado, which was praised as “a model for the reform of secondary education.”
As Administrator of Alternative Education for Denver Public Schools, Arnie created a school for at-risk inner-city students, most of whom the conventional school system had abandoned, called High School Redirection, and served as its principal while also working with other Denver public schools. Arnie received the Colorado Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence in 1991.
Arnie has consulted with schools and districts throughout the USA and abroad. He was an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Denver and at the University of Colorado, Denver. He was a Visiting Fellow at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, helping public schools redesign themselves.
In 2001, Arnie partnered with the Denver Musicians Association to create the Harmony Project, which paired artists with classroom teachers to infuse music and other arts into the curriculum, resulting in dramatically improved student engagement.
About the Co-author and Editor
Mark Moore is an experiential educator, eco-social entrepreneur, consultant, writer-editor, composer-producer, designer, and natural builder. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Earthville Network (since 2000), and cofounder of Dharmalaya Institute for Compassionate Living, Earthville’s eco-campus in the Indian Himalayas (since 2008). Mark worked with Arnie over a period of ten years to compile and edit the book, and he wrote its Foreword.
Join the Conversation
The book and its companion website (here) welcome readers to engage in conversation about making a world that works for everyone, and particularly ways in which educational environments and experiences can be shaped to help bring out the greatness that exists within all learners, inspiring and empowering them to be a part of creating a better world.
We would love to include you in the conversation. If you would like us to update you when new material is added to the book’s companion website (here) and send you an invitation when we host a conversation or event related to the book, you can subscribe to our notification list here. (We respect your privacy and won’t use your email address for any other purpose without your consent.)
The Earthville Education Blog
The Earthville Education Blog is a venue for ongoing explorations of education as a catalyst for the development of conscientious citizens, healthy communities, and a more harmonious and sustainable world.
Feel free to post comments or questions relevant to the book and the project in the comments section below.
There are several ways you can participate in the Earthville Education initiative and make your unique contributions to this exciting project:
- Join the Earthville Network to become an active member of the community → sign up
- Subscribe to the Earthville Education Blog and join the conversation by posting comments in the articles that interest you or submitting articles of your own → go
- Participate in Earthville’s educational programs and events → see event calendar
- Apply to volunteer for the Earthville Education initiative, and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to call you into action. → apply now
- Visit the Dharmalaya Institute in the Indian Himalayas to volunteer or participate in service-learning programs or retreats → jump to the Dharmalaya website
- Help us establish the Earthville Institute in the US by making a tax-deductible gift or bequest → more info