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Reminder: What Was The Best Education-Related Book You Read This Year?


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As I’ve done every December for the past several years, I’m inviting readers of this blog to share the best education-related book that you read over the past twelve months.

Leave a your choice in the comments section with no more than a sentence or two description/explanation. As usual, I’ll publish a full list on January 1st.

December 29th is the deadline to get your choice in if you want me to include it in the post….

Here are posts from previous years:

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2012

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2011

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2010

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2009

The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2008

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined

  2. World Class Learners by Yong Zhao takes a different perspective about standardized tests and international comparisons. Instead of simply questioning the validity of high stakes testing, he actually provides data that suggests these practices could actually harm creativity and innovation. Dr. Zhao also shares ideas for helping teachers and students become more engaged in important work.

  3. Open by David Price has reshaped my thinking around the acceleration needed to open our schools to change

  4. Energize Research Reading and Writing: Fresh Strategies to Spark Interest, Develop Independence, and Meet Key Common Core Standards, Grades 4-8 by Christopher Lehman (Heinemann, 2012). Great practical book that spells out what REAL research should look like . It would make a wonderful choice for English and content area teachers working together. Not only for grades 4-8; so much of what he describes would be perfect for high school students as well.

  5. How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

    Provides very specific and promising strategies on how to counteract poverty, and attempts to explain why good standardized tests results do not lead to college and career success.

  6. Ann Byrd and Barnett Berry, Teacherpreneurs [disclosure, yes, my students and I are featured in it] which makes it even more interesting! Seriously, a look at the possibilities for teaching to move out of its centuries old frame into a modern profession.

    Diane Ravitch’s, Reign of Error for challenging the educational crisis myths.

    Jonathan Kozol, Fire Among the Ashes:25 Years Among the Poorest Children in America — the culmination of his work that began with Savage Inequalities; looks at some of the children he has followed as they grown into adulthood.

  7. Net Smart by Horward Rheingold is essential reading for educators and anyone interested in doing a deep dive into the abundance of information and connectivity brought to us in the present day.

  8. Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess
    Inspiring, made me take a fresh look at the way I reach.

  9. Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess – gives energy, shares passion, offers encouragement and support, and gives usable ideas to highten students’ interest to learning.

    Generation iY by Tim Elmore – amazing research for all involved with youth and how to reach and teach Gen Y for a productive, successful future adult generation.

  10. Smart by Nature. Great book about different ways schools across country integrating sustainability into curriculum and culture of individual schools and distructs.

  11. There are so many great books:

    Teach Like a Pirate reminds readers to make learning fun and relevant.

    Falling in Love with Close Reading and Notice and Note both help all content area teachers get students to stop and pay attention while they are reading.

    Not a teacher book but YA novel that brings thought, caring, and perspective on our daily life, The Obe and Only Ivan was a favorite read with my students.

  12. Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller. Put away the text books and get “wild” about reading authentic literature! Donalyn gives you a learning structure to promote student independence and a love of reading!

  13. The two best educationally related books that I have read this year are mindset by Carol Dweck and Teaching Through Text by McKenna and Robinson.

  14. It has been a good book year. As always, I find that some of the best books for education were not written strictly for educators. The best ideas generalize well across fields, and the the hot areas for research and innovation are where the disciplines collide. I summarize the best books I find at http://DrDougGreen.Com. My summaries will help with purchasing decisions and reviewing the book after you read it. If I had to pick one book this year it would be “Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries” by Peter Sims summarized here: Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work.

  15. Cagebusting Leadership by Frederick Hess was a great read. It gets us to stop whining and start looking at what we have to get the job done.

  16. Real Talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith made me realize that teaching to high stakes tests will never lead to the kind of learning our students deserve.

  17. Penny Kittle’s: Book Love and Write Beside Them

  18. Ten Minute InService by Todd Whitaker and Annette Breaux

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