Palo Alto High School teacher and nationally-recognized educator David B. Cohen discusses his inspiring book, Capturing the Spark: Inspired Teaching, Thriving Schools.
A veteran teacher with experience in leadership roles in statewide organizations, Cohen came up with the idea for Capturing the Spark after he encountered a troubling dissonance regarding public education. He continually met teachers whose creativity and dedication were making a positive difference in their own schools and in the broader field. Yet, in the media, in politics, and even in casual conversations, he kept encountering fear and anxiety about the deterioration of public schools in California. Determined to offer a broader and more optimistic view, Cohen took a leave of absence from his own teaching in order to visit, observe, and write about great teachers and schools. With funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, he was able to visit campuses all over the state, from the redwood forests near the northern border to the desert towns of the south, from the major cities on the coast to the foothills of the Sierras.
While focusing on positive stories in public education, Cohen recognizes the many challenges facing public education. Capturing the Spark draws upon hundreds of hours of observations, decades of personal experience, and a body of education policy research to offer recommendations for how California can protect what's working and make smart decisions about what to add and change in the future.