In a previous post (Visible Learning), I referenced Doug Ota’s book Safe Passage. His phenomenal book merits a little bit more of a review than simply the nod that I gave him in that blog post.
When I first received Doug’s book, I was admittedly intimidated by it–such a well-researched and carefully structured book surely represented a challenging read. I’ve never been more pleasantly surprised about the content of a book than I was when I finally opened the front cover.
Doug Ota’s book Safe Passage: How mobility affects people and what international schools should do about it not only presents well-researched information on how mobility impacts a child’s educational well-being, but does so in easily digestible pieces. Readers feel like they’re in a conversation with Doug as he shares insights and models about transition experiences, brought to life by metaphors.
What I enjoyed most about the book–besides the nautical themes intertwined throughout–was the emphasis that Doug placed on an individual’s story. By emphasizing a child’s story, Doug affirm the value of a child’s history. Moreover, Doug refused to stop at the surface-level implications of transition, but takes the reader deeper into the psychological impact of transition on belonging and community.
Doug’s book is a must-read. It holds wisdom not only for international schools, but for all organizations that assist families with international transitions. Doug’s well-balanced advice and structured guidelines are applicable across countries. I would recommend this book to anyone involved in education or counseling of globally-mobile families, or anyone with children impacted by mobility.