Leveraged Learning, by Danny Iny: A must-read for educators, parents and anyone interested in creating an educational system that prepares us for the future

I was excited to receive an advance review copy of Leveraged Learning back in late August, in exchange for an honest review. Since then, I’ve read through the book from cover to cover and returned to various chapters several times, giving myself time to think about the lessons learned and determine how important I believe this book is to the growing discussions about the current state of education. 

Leveraged Learning is a well-researched, actionable treatise on the state of education, and what we can do about it. Written by Danny Iny, CEO of Mirasee (Danny, in my opinion, is one of the most inspirational leaders around today), the book provides an excellent framework for a new way of thinking about education, and how we can best prepare ourselves – and the next generation of learners – for the future.


Leveraged Learning

getting things done

 


Here’s an example: In Chapter 4, “Economics of the New Education,” Danny dives deep into the institutional rigidity that plagues many industries. The story of Henry Ford and the assembly line is well-known. Less well-known is the story of Will Durant, an expert in the horse-drawn carriage field and a man of enough means to effectively buy his way into the auto industry. It could be said that Henry Ford, an outsider, had the vision that innovators often possess, one that is not hindered by too much “industry expertise.”

Education is no exception to this resistance. I personally experienced this when I left corporate America to teach high school. After seven years of bucking what was to me a clearly failing system, I left teaching and returned to the corporate world. The most frustrating part of being in the school system wasn’t the lack of funding, nor was it the lack of respect from students or support from parents. Nor was it shrinking attention spans; as Danny reminds us, even today, “No, attention spans aren’t shrinking.” What I found in the school system is exactly what Leveraged Learning describes: intractable resistance from within the school system itself to accept, let alone do anything about, the fact that our schools were clearly failing so many of our students. The unwillingness of the entrenched leadership was no different from the plethora of industry examples which Danny covers in detail. Since my experience in the school system, I’ve been following the painfully slow progress toward a better way of teaching; throughout the book, Leveraged Learning provides the historical perspective and, most importantly, the way forward.

Of particular value in Leveraged Learning is the “Did You Get All That?” at the end of each chapter, which gives the reader a way to conduct their own “Learning Self-Assessment.”  I’m currently a student in Danny’s “Business Ignition Bootcamp”, and this is consistent with Danny’s style of teaching and learning: Stop and check yourself along the way. It’s an excellent way to ensure that you’re absorbing what you’ve read.

Another thing I appreciated is the “Go Deeper” section at the end of each chapter, with additional resources including, of course, links to the Leveraged Learning Book’s website, LeveragedLearningBook.com. What’s great about Danny is he practices what he preaches – the site contains not only additional resources but actionable conversation video guides as well as an expanded (and current) bibliography.
 
It’s heartening to see the wider discourse beginning to gain more traction, and Leveraged Learning is a great primer on what a brighter future for education can look like. I highly recommend it.