"Wagner’s passionate memoir serves as blueprint for educators looking to inspire their own students." (Publishers Weekly)
"Tony Wagner has written an irresistible coming-of-age memoir that is an extended reverie on education - what it is, what it’s not, and why it matters. As Wagner walks us through his journey, he show us not only how he learned to love to learn, but also how he learned to pass that love on to others. This story of mental, emotional, and moral awakening will touch your heart." (Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive)
"Eloquent, intimate...Tony Wagner’s memoir is a much-needed account of how unconventional kids navigate a conventional education. I love this book, find hope in Wagner’s story, and will be recommending it to parents who worry that their children won’t find their way in the world." (Jessica Lahey, New York Times best-selling author of The Gift of Failure)
"If you think you know what it means to be 'smart' or a 'lifelong learner' read Learning by Heart and be prepared to have your assumptions challenged. Neither smart nor learning are likely to take place on a straight and narrow road where high grades and test scores meet compliance and memorization. Wagner artfully reminds us of what we already know, that smart and learning take place at a far different intersection, one where curiosity, creativity and perseverance meet." (Madeline Levine, PhD, co-founder, Challenge Success, Stanford Graduate School of Education, author of The Price of Privilege and Ready or Not)
"A page turner. With candor and clarity, Tony Wagner tells the story of his remarkable life and, in so doing, tells the story of our education system." (Angela Duckworth, Founder and CEO, Character Lab, and New York Times best-selling author of Grit)
One of the world's top experts on education delivers an uplifting memoir on his own personal failures and successes as he sought to become a good learner and teacher.
Tony Wagner is an eminent education specialist: He has taught at every grade level from high school through graduate school; worked at Harvard; done significant work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and speaks across the country and all over the world. But before he found his success, Wagner was kicked out of middle school, expelled from high school, and dropped out of two colleges. Learning by Heart is his powerful account of his years as a student and teacher.
After struggling in both roles, he learned to create meaningful learning experiences despite the constraints of conventional schooling - initially for himself and then for his students - based on understanding each student's real interests and strengthening his or her intrinsic motivations. Wagner's story sheds light on critical issues facing parents and educators today, and reminds us that trial and error, resilience, and respect for the individual are at the very heart of all teaching and learning.
- D Brandt
What an amazing, heartfelt, beautiful journey, and to hear it directly from the author's mouth such a pleasure! Tony brought every scene into exquisite view with his extraordinary ability to paint a vivid picture for the audience. He had me shaking my head, smiling, laughing, or wanting to cry throughout the story that I couldn't put down and didn't want to end. Three cheers for proving the mole wrong on so many levels. Thank you for your inspiration to educators as well as parents! It's so amazing to feel like I've gained both a friend and mentor after reading this book!