Tutors can read too! Daniela picks out the best books for educators in the latest entry to our Summer Reading Series.
Even if there are great staple books on education that any teacher should read, like Plato’s Republic, Rousseau’s Emile and Dewey’s Democracy and Education, there are also plenty of resources available that combine research from the past years with very useful practical advice. Here are a few suggestions, published in the last two years:
“In this exciting new book, Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath breaks fresh ground on the vital topic of influence. By combining cutting-edge brain research with proven behavioural science, Dr. Horvath outlines 12 scientific principles of how to impart knowledge in a way that truly sticks with and impacts others”
This book does a great job of balancing the informative with the entertaining. Dr. Jared Cooney Horvath covers brain research at prominent universities, considering teaching for all ages, spread across four continents. It is full of practical advice, and whilst being quirky and fun, none of it distracts from the science behind it, all coming together in very helpful educational advice. It will deepen your understanding of neuroscience, but being backed up by very practical advice, you will find it highly applicable.
"Teaching students how to focus and self-regulate at a young age can provide them with skills that will help throughout their schooling and adult lives. Like anyone, they need easy-to remember tools and strategies to calm their minds and focus on the moment”
This is an interactive and well researched book for teachers, with plenty of tips for teachers on how to integrate simple exercises in their daily routines. Expect stretching and breathing techniques, reflective practices and other mindfulness-oriented tips. Bonus: this read comes with digital content!
“Teachers deal with change on a regular basis, but there are some principles at the core of teaching that remain constant and that have the biggest impact on student achievement. In this inspiring book, you’ll learn how to focus on the most important things in the classroom, not just the ‘current’ things. The authors reveal essential truths that will make you a more effective educator in areas such as student relationships, classroom management, and classroom culture”
Even if this seems like a very quick and easy read, the book remains nonetheless insightful. Steel and Whitaker share their 56 essential truths in 99 pages, emphasizing putting the student-first mindset, the importance of positive energy that a teacher brings to the classroom and the need to relentlessly want to improve.
“With the inspiring anecdotes and insights in this book, you’ll be reminded of your greater purpose – making a difference in students’ lives”
“Even on good days, teaching is a challenging profession. One way to make the job of college instructors easier, however, is to know more about the ways students learn. ‘How Humans Learn’ aims to do just that by peering behind the curtain and surveying research in fields as diverse as developmental psychology, anthropology, and cognitive neuroscience for insight into the science behind learning"
"The result is a story that ranges from investigations of the evolutionary record to studies of infants discovering the world for the first time, and from a look into how our brains respond to fear to a reckoning with the importance of gestures and language”
Looking back at science, particularly human evolution and early childhood development, the author frames each chapter around a theme - curiosity, sociality, emotion, authenticity, and failure - taking the scientific insights and turning these into practical tips. Therefore, the author offers techniques and key takeaways for busy teachers.
“In ‘Make Learning Magical’, educator Tisha Richmond pulls back the curtain to reveal strategies you can use to transform your classroom. Laughter, fun, and gamified experiences can make school a place where students are inspired, empowered, and immersed in learning--and it doesn't require illusions or smoke and mirrors”
The author shares actionable techniques aimed at empowering students in the classroom by engaging on a higher level through exciting and relevant resources; in life, by nurturing curiosity, collaboration and creation, and promoting a legacy built through meaningful experiences.
“In this dazzling debut, Carla Shalaby, a former elementary school teacher, explores the everyday lives of four young ‘troublemakers’, challenging the ways we identify and understand so-called problem children"
"Time and again, we make seemingly endless efforts to moderate, punish, and even medicate our children, when we should instead be concerned with transforming the very nature of our institutions, systems, and structures, large and small”
The author presents four case studies, allowing the reader to see, through the eyes of Zora, Lucas, Sean and Marcus, what it means to be labelled a problem. The book encourages teachers to value the experiences of their students, but also their contributions, as every child is unique and valuable.
“Drawing on 20+ years of experience in special education and mainstream settings, teacher-trainer Rob Plevin explains a proven, step-by-step plan for successfully managing the most challenging individuals and groups in today’s toughest classrooms"
"Packed with powerful, fast-acting techniques – including a novel routine to get any class quiet in 15 seconds or less – this book helps teachers across all age groups connect and succeed with hard-to-reach, reluctant learners”
Yet another very practical read, in this book you will find hundreds of ideas for creating an enjoyable and engaging lesson climate, such as “The Clean State” – a step by step method for managing particularly difficult groups of students. Another six-step plan in the book is aimed at minimising classroom behaviour problems, whilst more tips can be found on ending power struggles and confrontations, gaining trust and respect from hard to reach students, and the crucial importance of consistency, plus ways to achieve it.
“Academic-related anxiety is common in high-achieving and struggling classrooms alike. So how can teachers calm students’ fears and empower them as learners?"
"Educator Stacey Roshan found the answer with technology. In Tech with Heart, Stacey shares that the fight to be first, the pressure to be right, and the stress surrounding test scores were just a few of the many reasons she chose to flip her class”
The book proves to be a valuable resource on how to use EdTech tools to humanize modern learning and help all learners achieve success. With interactive videos for students to watch at home and shifting the time in class to focus on the student’s needs, teachers will quickly see where students are struggling and how to offer all the opportunity of sharing their voice.
This is a very practical guide on how to use technology to engage learners and make lessons come alive.
“It will teach you how to allow students to show their thinking, demonstrate their learning, and share their work with authentic audiences - to use technology in meaningful ways that prepare them for the future!”
You can start with 20 simple tools “that will help teachers to easily make the student thinking visible, give every student a voice and allow them to share their work”. The book comes with “Examples You Can Use Tomorrow” and instructions, as well as a special bonus section on Digital Portfolios.
This is a book that was recommended by Lord Michael Cashman in April 2019 in the UK Parliament, and it comes with great reviews:
“This ground-breaking book examines the roots and impact of identity-based prejudice in schools, drawing on Shaun's own experiences of homophobic bullying and his subsequent career as a teacher and school leader"
"The core of the book is based on Shaun's award-winning training programme Inclusion For All, endorsed by the Department for Education, presenting an effective approach to LGBT+ inclusion at a whole-school level. This includes practical strategies to eradicate prejudice, prevent bullying, embrace diversity and improve whole-school outcomes such as attendance and attainment, as well as mindfulness techniques and ideas for INSET training sessions and school assemblies”
Written with humour and compassion, this is a must-read book for teachers and school leaders who wish to celebrate differences and promote inclusion.
Blog Post Crafted by Daniela
Since graduating, she has been dividing her time between acting and tutoring. Daniela speaks Romanian, Dutch and English, and hopes to soon add Spanish and Italian to the list. Outside of work, Daniela can be found climbing, dancing, running, and (when she manages to stay still) at the cinema, devouring the latest movies — although she’s mainly there for the candy.