Rewild School’s first “Book Review”

“In Rewild School, Shawn Humphrey invites educators to rethink the traditional paradigms of education. Written in straightforward language, this book integrates familiar ideas like student archetypes, narrative structures like a guiding story, personal insight and moments of inspiration. And yet, Rewild School is a challenging read for traditional academics like myself. Humphrey purposefully omits conventional academic tools like citations, detailed research analyses, and critiques of pedagogical theories. This unconventional approach is likely intentional, prompting readers to experience a ‘rewilding’ of scholarship itself—freeing us from the structures that typically encase academic discourse.


And it works. Reading Rewild School was transformative. Initially, I tried to engage with Shawn Humphrey’s ideas from a place of scholarly analysis, accustomed to clear academic structures where roles are well-defined—either as teacher/mentor (e.g., what will Shawn teach me?) or student/mentee (e.g., what feedback can I give Shawn to improve this book?). Yet, Rewild School challenged this dichotomy, creating a sense of initial confusion and disorientation. This book—and the philosophy it espouses—compels us to rethink these roles entirely. Shawn didn’t just fill my mind with facts or dazzle me with his knowledge. Instead, he inspired me with a vision of what education could be—a vision so compelling that I wanted to be a change-making animal. Rewild School doesn’t just inform—it transforms, fundamentally changing how we engage with and understand education, and inviting us to rethink and revitalize how we teach and learn.”

– Jonathan Singer Ph.D., LCSW (Professor, School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago)


photo credit @jason_whitman