- The Quality School by William Glasser
This is the book that introduced me to the pioneering work of management expert W. Edwards Deming at the beginning of my career and sparked my interest in Quality Theory. Glasser applies to the classroom the philosophical approach that Deming used so successfully to help the Japanese rebuild their industrial base following World War II. Specifically, Glasser describes how educators can manage students in a non-coercive way that will empower children to produce quality work, improve continuously, experience joy, and take pride in their learning.
- Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes by Alfie Kohn
A must-read for educators and parents concerned about the damaging effects of using rewards, prizes, and other extrinsic motivators to manage or raise children. Citing numerous research studies, Kohn argues that rewards are both ineffective, because they lead only to short-term compliance as opposed to the development of positive long-term habits, and destructive, because their use contains many serious side effects. Most notably, rewards reduce the intrinsic motivation to learn and to grow that each of us possesses.
- Why Do I Have to Learn This?: Teaching Children the Way They Learn by Dale Parnell
Educators can help students find greater meaning in their work and better understand the many purposes of their learning by referencing the seven life roles that Parnell describes in this book. These roles (Individual, Citizen, Consumer, Learner, Producer, Family Member, Leisure Participant) give greater context to our teaching and enable us to connect daily lessons and activities to larger sets of responsibilites that we all face in our lives.
- Horace's Hope: What Works for the American High School by Theodore Sizer
The third installment in the well-known â€œHorace Trilogy,â€ this book contains my favorite quote in education: â€œKnowing stuff is nice. Being able to use that stuff makes sense. Being predisposed to use it always, as a matter of habit, is the brass ring, the ultimate standard.â€ I love this quote because it captures the essence of Sizerâ€™s approach - studentsâ€™ learning to use their minds well and developing lasting â€œhabits of mindâ€ that set them apart as thinkers.
- The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, the K-12 Education that Every Child Deserves by Howard Gardner
Best known for developing the theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner, in this book, asserts that K-12 education should enhance a deep understanding of three principles: truth, beauty, and goodness. In The Disciplined Mind Gardner describes how teaching three topics, the theory of evolution, Mozartâ€™s music, and the lessons of the Holocause, can lead to this deepened understanding.
- Improving Student Learning: Applying Deming's Quality Principles in Classrooms by Lee Jenkins
Like Glasser, Jenkins applies the work of W. Edwards Deming to education. From this book I discovered many ideas that now lie at the core of my teaching practice, such as 1) the overall aim that drives curricular and instructional decision-making in my classroom and determines goals and 2) the enthusiasm survey that I administer a few times per year to assess how my students feel about the different subject areas we study.
- Schools That Work : America's Most Innovative Public Education Programs by George Wood
If you enjoy reading the works of Theodore Sizer and Deborah Meier, you will enjoy Woodâ€™s description of some of Americaâ€™s most innovative public education programs. You will discover places where classrooms function as communities, where students work on meaningful projects, and where the emphasis is on children learning to use their minds well.
- Results Now: How We Can Achieve Unprecedented Improvements in Teaching and Learning by Mike Schmoker
A powerful book that outlines a simple and effective collaborative approach that schools can implement to improve student learning. Schmokerâ€™s approach helps teachers work together to administer and analyze common, standards-based assessments and then use assessment results to improve instruction.
- Teaching With Visual Frameworks: Focused Learning and Achievement Through Instructional Graphics Co-Created by Students and Teachers by Christine Allen Ewy
I ran out of post-its while reading this book because there were so many terrific ideas I wanted to implement. This book describes a variety of cool and powerful instructional graphics that students can use to improve understanding of core concepts and assist in the retention of those concepts. Once you begin incorporating these ideas into your teaching, you will wonder how you ever taught without them.
- Choose to Learn: Teaching for Success Every Day by Russell Oglethorpe and Lolly Oglethorpe
I served as an original reviewer for this book for Corwin Press and immediately loved the inspirational, straightforward approach the authors described for empowering students to take charge of their learning and maximize their potential. Over the past few years I have used many ideas from this book to help me in my efforts to improve the behavior and judgment of individual students.