The End of Average: Book Study & Classroom Application

The End of Average:
Book Study
& Classroom Application

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Are you above average? Every day we are measured against the "average person," judged according to how closely we resemble the average—or how far we exceed it. The assumption that average-based yardsticks like academic GPAs, personality tests, and annual performance reviews reveal something meaningful about our ability is so ingrained in our consciousness that we never question it. But this assumption, argues Harvard scientist Todd Rose, is spectacularly wrong.

In The End of Average, the author uses the new science of the individual to reveal the remarkable fact that no one is average. This isn’t hollow sloganeering or ivory tower esoterica—it’s a frank mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences for your chances for success. Our schools and businesses are all designed to evaluate and promote talent based upon the mythical notion of the average person, a one-size-fits-all model that ignores the true nature of our individuality. But in The End of Average, Rose finally provides the tools to break free.

Weaving science, history, and his own experiences as a high school dropout, Rose offers a powerful alternative to the average—three key principles derived from the science of the individual. This course will explore these three principles and reveal how they can work
to benefit your students and you.

Instructor: Chris Gleason

Gleason,_Chris_headshot_2020_REBALChris Gleason is an instrumental music educator at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, WI. He is the 2017 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year, 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Award semifinalist, and the first Wisconsin teacher to be named a finalist for National Teacher of the Year in 50 years.

In 2009 Chris started the ComMission Possible Project that annually commissions a new work for band. Recent commissions have included John Mackey, Michael Markowski, Alex Shapiro, Brian Balmages, Sam Hazo, Andrew Boysen Jr. and others. Chris recently served as a Teacher Leadership and Engagement Specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction inspiring future education majors across the state. He is the past-chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP) Committee, the Wisconsin State Middle-Level Honors Band and the Wisconsin State Middle-Level Honors Project. Chris has been featured in the March 2015 Instrumentalist Magazine, and in the books Think Like Socrates: Using Questions to Invite Wonder and Empathy Into the Classroom (Shanna Peeples, 2018) and Rehearsing the Middle School Band (Stephen Meyer, 2018).

Gleason is a 2018-19 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow who traveled to South Africa in 2019. In addition, he is the founder and organizer of the Beyond The Notes Music Festival Inc. in Wisconsin Dells that has to date inspired more than 35,000 young musicians and 70 future music educators. Gleason recently presented his own talk at 2019 TEDxOshkosh entitled “Lighting a Fire in Kids.”

Course Details

The End of Average:
Book Study &
Classroom Application

Course Code 7591

Chris Gleason

3 Graduate Credits

$1,065, due in full with registration

Chat Sessions
None (course is entirely


Required Text(s)
The End of Average:
Unlocking Our Potential
by Embracing What Makes
Us Different
by Todd Rose

Students are responsible for purchasing all required texts and materials. VanderCook will not have any course materials available for purchase.

Software/Hardware Requirements
Internet access is required.

MECA Online
is powered by Schoology

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

Summer 2021 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, June 7. Soon after you register, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. On the morning of June 7, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

Online grades will be reported by mid-June. If you need a transcript, please visit the online transcript request page. For faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

More information about Schoology can be found at


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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