As I’ve done every December for the past seven years, I invite readers to share what they think was the best education-related book they read during this calendar year. It doesn’t have to have been published in 2014 — you just have to have read it during the past twelve months.
In addition, please share no more than one or two sentences explaining why you think it was the best one. Please leave the info in the comments section.
You have until December 30th to contribute. As usual, I’ll post the final list, along with who contributed the choices, on New Year’s Day.
There are always a ton of books that get listed, and you can see the posts from previous years here:
The Best Education-Related Books Visitors To This Blog Read In 2013
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
Make Learning Personal: The What, Who, WOW, Where and Why by Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey. Barbara and Kathleen’s research demonstrates how shifting the responsibility for learning to the learner is vital to personalized learning. Their Personalization vs. Differentiation vs. Individualization chart is a critical resource in understanding what is and what is not, personalized learning.
Notebook Know-Hiw by Aimee Buckner. The forward is written by Howard Gardner, however, the book is written about how to use a writer’s notebook from a teacher’s perspective. Lesson plans included. Fantastic!
My top 3 for 2014:
“This Is Not A Test”, by Jose Vilson. Funny, smart, and touching. Sounds like a movie, but in my opinion it’s one of the most real books about teaching in urban schools since I read my mom’s copy of “Up The Down Staircase” decades ago.
“#EdJourney”, by Grant Lichtman. A great road-trip story, covering lots of different kinds of schools doing tons of great things. Grant writes very eloquently about what changes need to be made in schools and what changes are happening now.
“Trivium 21c”, by Martin Robinson. Deep, philosophical, and a wonderful history of the use of grammar, dialectic and rhetoric in the training of the mind. Schools truly using this model would generate the critical thinkers policymakers only pay lip service to wanting.
Quiet by Susan Cain — every single teacher and parent (and spouse) should read this book and develop an understanding of our world and the way many people perceive it and the difficulties they may face in a world that glorifies and pushes people to become a hyper extrovert. I found it to be life changing in the way I see students and teachers.
The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley — this book takes a close look at high preforming countries on the PISA test and analyzes how their school systems benefit their students (or don’t). The book focuses on Finland, South Korea and Poland with a taste of the United States. I found the similarities within these systems and the dramatic differences to be fascinating and found several ways we could improve our system.
Using Common Core Standards: to Enhance Instruction and Assessment by Marzano et al. Tremendous resources for teachers and ed leaders to grasp the standards and how to apply them to their instruction/school vision. Proficiency scales are being used as school wide assessment of Student Learning Objectives.
Mindset by Dweck. This is beinginng to shape how we look at instruction and specifically how we look at human potential.
Mike took mine! As I’ve written elsewhere, I think José Vilson’s “This Is Not a Test” should be taught in teacher ed programs.
I would also recommend Jose Vilson’s “This Is Not a Test” which I reviewed here: http://www.middleweb.com/tag/this-is-not-a-test/
In the category of books about teaching practice, the book I’ve heard the most buzz about (and a book I’ve read myself) is The 8 Myths of Student Disengagement by Jennifer A. Fredricks, which would make an excellent read in a teacher/PLC book club.
Getting Schooled by Garret Keizer is an amazing book that clarified a lot of my thinking about what it means to be an English teacher.
Make It Stick: The science of successful learning by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel thoroughly changed the way I perceived learning in my classroom. Incorporating the book’s principles has led to more retention in my classroom.
The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley, and How Children Succeed by Paul Tough.
I hadn’t thought if Quiet as an education related book (I just liked it as an introvert), but based on another poster’s comments, I’d give it a vote.
“On Your Mark” by Tom Guskey. The time has come to challenge the traditional grading practices that have been harming students and reporting skewed grades for decades. Not only does he provide a research-based rationale for changing grading practices, but he suggests specific strategies that can be implemented right away.
Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. It provides the most practical approach I have ever found for teaching close reading strategies. I feel like I have given my 8th graders a tool that they will use for the remainder of their educational careers
The Skillful Teacher by Stephen Brookfield. I loved his interpretation of what students go through in their learning journey through higher ed. Empathy for college age kids…what a concept!