A Reading List

Over the last few weeks I have been totally preoccupied with, and consumed by, the appointment of teaching staff process as we move towards staffing the school for our start in 2017.
This process has been very exciting but has also made me reflect on the professional development that we will all undertake as part of our readiness process.
This led to me considering what a staff professional reading library would start to look like.
What follows is my opinion and selection of ‘essential’ texts that I would recommend to any educator. This is very much a current list and very much prone to change.

Creative Schools : The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education.
By (author) Sir Ken Robinson , By (author) Lou Aronica

Simply because Ken Robinson’s TED talk was such a light bulb moment for me that I tend to hang on everything he says. Most of us have heard of, seen or read Uncle Ken and his place in any progressive education library is a given.Any of his books are essential reading, this is just the latest.

Creating Innovators : The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World.

By (author) Tony Wagner
In a very direct and straightforward way Wagner explains why innovation and creativity are vital aspects in the development of strong, young minds.

Mathematical Mindsets : Unleashing Students’ Potential Through Creative Math, Inspiring Messages and Innovative Teaching.
By (author) Jo Boaler
The teaching of maths worries me. For some reason integrating higher level maths into a multidisciplinary approach seems to be problematic. Jo Boaler provides the reassurance that maths can be as creative and authentic as any other subject.

The Innovator’s Mindset : Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity.
By (author) George Couros
As important as Wagner but with a slightly more practical focus.

The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences.
Edited by R. Keith Sawyer

Excellent overview of modern educational thought and pedagogy. Essential reference text.

Pasi Sahlberg states that we can not transplant the ideas and structures from one country into another and hope that they will work. It all depends on context. What we can do though is learn from and reflect on the global experience. What follows is a couple of texts that have prompted a considerable amount of reflective thought on my part.

Building School 2.0 : How to Create the Schools We Need.

By (author) Chris Lehmann , By (author) Zac Chase

Authentic Learning in the Digital Age : Engaging Students Through Inquiry.
By (author) Larissa Pahomov

Finnish Lessons.
By [author] Pasi Sahlberg

Then there are some books that provide very good practical advice and guidance on how to structure authentic and relevant educational experiences.

Never Mind the Inspectors : Here’s Punk Learning.

By (author) Tait Coles

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student.
by John Spencer (Author), A J Juliani (Author)

Who Owns the Learning.
By (author) Alan November

The following texts go beyond the scope of schools but are highly relevant to anyone planing and delivering education.

Mindset : The New Psychology of Success.
By (author) Carol S. Dweck

Play : How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.

By (author) Stuart Brown , With Christopher Vaughan

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
by Daniel H. Pink

Finally there is a list of our own Kiwi texts, as good as anything produced anywhere and written for our context.

About a decade ago it seemed that for many of us you were either in the Bishop camp or the Hattie camp. Thankfully that time has passed and we can now see the real value of both sets of research. The reality is that both are complementary and both are vital. Bishop really nails the importance ofrespectful relationships as the basis for meaningful academic trust and development.


Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn.
By (author) John Hattie , By (author) Gregory C. R. Yates

Culture Counts,. Changing Power Relations in Education.
By (author) Russell Bishop and Ted Glynn

Hood’s book is important because it takes contemporary global thinking around learning and runs it through a New Zealand filter.

The recently published book by Wells does a great job of seeing the overall structure of secondary education in New Zealand. It describes the journey that as taken place over the last twenty or so years and charts a possible future.

The Rhetoric and the Reality.

By (author) David Hood

Learner’s Paradise.

By (author) Richard Wells

Cooperative Learning in New Zealand Schools.

By (author) Don Brown and Charlotte Thomson.

What’s next ?

Well for me the following two texts are the next in line.

Future Wise : Educating Our Children for a Changing World.

By (author) David Perkins

What’s the Point of School? : Rediscovering the Heart of Education.

By (author) Guy Claxton






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