Must Reads for Sages' Learning Specialists (formerly known as Teachers)
Dweck, C. (2012). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
- Mindset is "an established set of attitudes held by someone," says the Oxford American Dictionary. It turns out, however, that a set of attitudes needn't be so set, according to Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford. Dweck proposes that everyone has either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as... well, fixed. In other words, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. Which mindset do you possess? Dweck provides a checklist to assess yourself and shows how a particular mindset can affect all areas of your life, from business to sports and love. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness. This is a serious, practical book. Dweck's overall assertion that rigid thinking benefits no one, least of all yourself, and that a change of mind is always possible, is welcome. (http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-How-Fulfil-Your-Potential-ebook/dp/B000FCKPHG/)
Danielson, C. (2007). Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching
- The framework for teaching is a research-based set of components of instruction that are grounded in a constructivist view of learning and teaching. The framework may be used for many purposes, but its full value is realized as the foundation for professional conversations among practitioners as they seek to enhance their skill in the complex task of teaching. The framework may be used as the foundation of a school’s or district’s recruitment and hiring, mentoring, coaching, professional development, and teacher evaluation processes, thus linking all those activities together and helping teachers become more thoughtful practitioners.The actions teachers can take to improve student learning are clearly identified and fall under four domains of teaching responsibility: Planning and Preparation, the School Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities. Within the domains are 22 components and 76 descriptive elements that further refine our understanding of what teaching is all about. The framework defines four levels of performance--Unsatisfactory, Basic, Proficient, and Distinguished--for each element, providing a valuable tool that all teachers can use. (http://www.amazon.com/Enhancing-Professional-Practice-Framework-Teaching/dp/1416605177)
Schmoker, M. (2011). Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning
- Bestselling author Mike Schmoker describes a plan for radically improving student learning that is built on three core elements: a focused and coherent curriculum (what we teach); clear, prioritized lessons (how we teach); and purposeful reading and writing, or authentic literacy. With this "less is more" philosophy, educators can help students learn content at a deeper level, develop greater critical thinking skills, and discover more clearly how content-area concepts affect their lives and the world around them. Both a call to action and a blueprint for creating more effective classrooms, Focus: Elevating the Essentials for Radically Improved Student Learning will challenge your assumptions about schooling and show how educators who have embraced this approach quickly achieved spectacular results. (http://www.amazon.com/Focus-Elevating-Essentials-Radically-ebook/dp/B004LX0L9C)
Lemov, D. (2010). Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College
- Teach Like a Champion offers effective teaching techniques to help teachers, especially those in their first few years, become champions in the classroom. These powerful techniques are concrete, specific, and are easy to put into action the very next day. Training activities at the end of each chapter help the reader further their understanding through reflection and application of the ideas to their own practice. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470550473)
Fay, J. & Funk, D . (1995). Teaching with Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom
- Teachers often find themselves facing a variety of classroom situations never covered in initial training. This valuable resource helps teachers increase skills, enhance professional development and maximize classroom learning time. .Discover why Love and Logic works in the school environment and understand the psychological reasons for its effectiveness. Jim Fay and David Funk's truly positive approach and time-tested ideas and strategies will empower teachers to effectively manage classroom dynamics while bringing the joy back to teaching. (http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Love-Logic-Control-Classroom/dp/0944634486)
Additional Reading Suggestions
Reeves, D. (2007). Ahead of the Curve: The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching and Learning
- Ahead of the Curve is the second book in the Leading Edge series. The Leading Edge is the undefined space where leaders venture to impact change it is the place where transformation begins. The Leading Edge series unites education authorities from around the globe and asks them to confront the important issues that affect teachers and administrators the issues that profoundly impact student success. The experts contributing to this anthology do not prescribe one method to transact change. They embrace the mission, trusting that teachers and administrators the true change leaders will venture to the Leading Edge to embrace the challenges and opportunities that will guarantee the success of their students. (http://www.amazon.com/Ahead-Curve-Assessment-Transform-Teaching/dp/1934009067)
Mehta, J. (2013). The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling
- Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush agreed on little, but united behind the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Passed in late 2001, it was hailed as a dramatic new departure in school reform. It would make the states set high standards, measure student progress, and hold failing schools accountable. A decade later, NCLB has been repudiated on both sides of the aisle. According to Jal Mehta, we should have seen it coming. Far from new, it was the same approach to school reform that Americans have tried before.
In The Allure of Order, Mehta recounts a century of attempts at revitalizing public education, and puts forward a truly new agenda to reach this elusive goal. Not once, not twice, but three separate times-in the Progressive Era, the 1960s and '70s, and NCLB-reformers have hit upon the same idea for remaking schools. Over and over again, outsiders have been fascinated by the promise of scientific management and have attempted to apply principles of rational administration from above. Each of these movements started with high hopes and ambitious promises, but each gradually discovered that schooling is not easy to "order" from afar: policymakers are too far from schools to know what they need; teachers are resistant to top-down mandates; and the practice of good teaching is too complex for simple external standardization.
The larger problem, Mehta argues, is that reformers have it backwards: they are trying to do on the back-end, through external accountability, what they should have done on the front-end: build a strong, skilled and expert profession. Our current pattern is to draw less than our most talented people into teaching, equip them with little relevant knowledge, train them minimally, put them in a weak welfare state, and then hold them accountable when they predictably do not achieve what we seek. What we want, Mehta argues, is the opposite approach which characterizes top-performing educational nations: attract strong candidates into teaching, develop relevant and usable knowledge, train teachers extensively in that knowledge, and support these efforts through a strong welfare state.
The Allure of Order boldly challenges conventional wisdom with a sweeping, empirically rich account of the last century of education reform, and offers a new path forward for the century to come. (http://www.amazon.com/Allure-Order-Expectations-Development-ebook/dp/B00CA2UVGO)
Tough, P. (2013). How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
- Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.
How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself. (http://www.amazon.com/How-Children-Succeed-Curiosity-Character/dp/0544104404)
Lehrer, J. (2012). Imagine: How Creativity Works
- Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output? From the best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively. Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective. You’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move. You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion, and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animation. Collapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony, Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind and its essential role in our increasingly complex world. (http://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Creativity-Works-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/184767786X)
Medina, J. (2009). Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
- See how the brain works while using it in the process of reading this book! Most of us have no idea what's really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know - like that physical activity boosts your brain power.
How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forget - and so important to repeat new information? Is it true that men and women have different brains?
In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule - what scientists know for sure about how our brains work - and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives.
Medina's fascinating stories and sense of humour breathe life into brain science. You'll learn why Michael Jordan was no good at baseball. You'll peer over a surgeon's shoulder as he proves that we have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. You'll meet a boy who has an amazing memory for music but can't tie his own shoes. (http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Rules-Principles-Surviving-Thriving/dp/0979777747)
Cloud, H. (2009). Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality
- Integrity—more than simple honesty, it's the key to success. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. Drawing on experiences from his work, Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, leadership coach, corporate consultant and nationally syndicated radio host, shows how our character can keep us from achieving all we want to (or could) be. (http://www.amazon.com/Integrity-Courage-Meet-Demands-Reality/dp/006084969X)
Goleman, D. (2007). Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
- Emotional Intelligence was an international phenomenon, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and selling more than five million copies worldwide. Now, once again, Daniel Goleman has written a groundbreaking synthesis of the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are “wired to connect” and the surprisingly deep impact of our relationships on every aspect of our lives.
Far more than we are consciously aware, our daily encounters with parents, spouses, bosses, and even strangers shape our brains and affect cells throughout our bodies—down to the level of our genes—for good or ill. In Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman explores an emerging new science with startling implications for our interpersonal world. Its most fundamental discovery: we are designed for sociability, constantly engaged in a “neural ballet” that connects us brain to brain with those around us.
Our reactions to others, and theirs to us, have a far-reaching biological impact, sending out cascades of hormones that regulate everything from our hearts to our immune systems, making good relationships act like vitamins—and bad relationships like poisons. We can “catch” other people’s emotions the way we catch a cold, and the consequences of isolation or relentless social stress can be life-shortening. Goleman explains the surprising accuracy of first impressions, the basis of charisma and emotional power, the complexity of sexual attraction, and how we detect lies. He describes the “dark side” of social intelligence, from narcissism to Machiavellianism and psychopathy. He also reveals our astonishing capacity for “mindsight,” as well as the tragedy of those, like autistic children, whose mindsight is impaired.
Is there a way to raise our children to be happy? What is the basis of a nourishing marriage? How can business leaders and teachers inspire the best in those they lead and teach? How can groups divided by prejudice and hatred come to live together in peace?
The answers to these questions may not be as elusive as we once thought. And Goleman delivers his most heartening news with powerful conviction: we humans have a built-in bias toward empathy, cooperation, and altruism–provided we develop the social intelligence to nurture these capacities in ourselves and others. (http://www.amazon.com/Social-Intelligence-Science-Human-Relationships/dp/055338449X)
Wagner, T. (2012). Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World
- IN THIS GROUNDBREAKING BOOK, education expert Tony Wagner provides a powerful rationale for developing an innovation-driven economy. He explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. In profiling compelling young American innovators such as Kirk Phelps, product manager for Apple’s first iPhone, and Jodie Wu, who founded a company that builds bicycle-powered maize shellers in Tanzania, Wagner reveals how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures and persevere. Wagner identifies a pattern—a childhood of creative play leads to deep-seated interests, which in adolescence and adulthood blossom into a deeper purpose for career and life goals. Play, passion, and purpose: These are the forces that drive young innovators.
Wagner shows how we can apply this knowledge as educators and what parents can do to compensate for poor schooling. He takes readers into the most forward-thinking schools, colleges, and workplaces in the country, where teachers and employers are developing cultures of innovation based on collaboration, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and intrinsic motivation. The result is a timely, provocative, and inspiring manifesto that will change how we look at our schools and workplaces, and provide us with a road map for creating the change makers of tomorrow.
Creating Innovators will feature its own innovative elements: more than sixty original videos that expand on key ideas in the book through interviews with young innovators, teachers, writers, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, including Thomas Friedman, Dean Kamen, and Annmarie Neal. Produced by filmmaker Robert A. Compton, the videos are embedded into the ebook edition in video-enabled eReaders and accessible in this print edition via QR codes placed throughout the chapters or via www.creatinginnovators.com. (http://www.amazon.com/Creating-Innovators-Making-People-Change/dp/1451611498)
Lencioni, P. M. (2012). The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business
- There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides.Simply put, an organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete, when its management, operations and culture are unified. Healthy organizations outperform their counterparts, are free of politics and confusion and provide an environment where star performers never want to leave. Lencioni’s first non-fiction book provides leaders with a groundbreaking, approachable model for achieving organizational health—complete with stories, tips and anecdotes from his experiences consulting to some of the nation’s leading organizations. In this age of informational ubiquity and nano-second change, it is no longer enough to build a competitive advantage based on intelligence alone. The Advantage provides a foundational construct for conducting business in a new way—one that maximizes human potential and aligns the organization around a common set of principles. (http://www.amazon.com/Advantage-Organizational-Health-Everything-Business/dp/0470941529)
Lencioni, P. M. (2002) . The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
- In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni once again offers a leadership fable that is as enthralling and instructive as his first two best-selling books, The Five Temptations of a CEOand The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. This time, he turns his keen intellect and storytelling power to the fascinating, complex world of teams.
Kathryn Petersen, Decision Tech's CEO, faces the ultimate leadership crisis: Uniting a team in such disarray that it threatens to bring down the entire company. Will she succeed? Will she be fired? Will the company fail? Lencioni's utterly gripping tale serves as a timeless reminder that leadership requires as much courage as it does insight.
Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones-often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Just as with his other books, Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.(http://www.amazon.com/The-Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Leadership/dp/0787960756)
Daniel H. Pink, D. H. (2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
- Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live. (http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594484805)
Jamison, K. R. (2005). Exuberance: The Passion for Life
- With the same grace and breadth of learning she brought to her studies of the mind’s pathologies, Kay Redfield Jamison examines one of its most exalted states: exuberance. This “abounding, ebullient, effervescent emotion” manifests itself everywhere from child’s play to scientific breakthrough and is crucially important to learning, risk-taking, social cohesiveness, and survival itself. Exuberance: The Passion for Lifeintroduces us to such notably irrepressible types as Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, and Richard Feynman, as well as Peter Pan, dancing porcupines, and Charles Schulz’s Snoopy. It explores whether exuberance can be inherited, parses its neurochemical grammar, and documents the methods people have used to stimulate it. The resulting book is an irresistible fusion of science and soul. (http://www.amazon.com/Exuberance-Passion-Kay-Redfield-Jamison/dp/0375701486)