With my last post trying to light the fire for the love of reading, I thought it only appropriate that I provide some kindling for you in today’s post. This is not an original idea. I subscribe to a very practical and helpful blog by Tim Elmore called Growing Leaders. One of Tim’s recent posts was about his own favorite books of 2012 that have shaped him in his own thinking. And so here are some of my own “educational good-reads” from 2012.
- Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin. Seth Godin has some interesting material, but his insight into some of the core problems within education today was enlightening to read. Godin approaches this issue by looking at our model of education today that too closely resembles the Industrial Revolution “cookie-cutter” mindset of yesteryear. His proposals for change are out-of-the-box and refreshing. And the best part is that it is a free download. I love free.
- Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future by Tim Elmore. I have become a big Elmore fan over the last couple of years. His insights about the iY generation are something that anyone involved in the classroom should read. His text presents the great traits iY brings as well as the challenges of their generation. With concerns he also provides solutions to best help this generation reach their potential and mentor them to purpose and calling. This book is so relevant that it is on my 2013 reading list as well.
- Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses by L. Dee Fink. Do not overlook this text just because the title emphasizes college courses. I found this book to cross boundaries of educational levels quite nicely. Fink’s premise is that every instructor should be thinking about their course as a means to provide significant learning opportunities for students. What are the concepts? How do you implement them? These questions and more are answered by Fink. If nothing else, the idea presented regarding Backward Design is worth the price of the text.
- Learning-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice by Maryellen Weimer. Weimer has been a breath of fresh air and I regularly read her blog posts. She understands what it means to engage her learners and create authentic learning. She offers theory as connected to practical in-class ideas. I have used several of her suggestions in the classroom and they are effective. And like Fink’s book, this text is geared toward college teaching but easily overlaps to other levels of instruction.
- The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide by Gene C. Fant Jr. It is good for me periodically to immerse myself in reading that reminds me about the true purposes of liberal arts training. Fant’s book is a relatively short read but excellent in laying the foundational roots of the background, opposition, purposes, and benefits of a liberal arts education.
Reflection: What are some some helpful books that you have recently read that have shaped your own thought about education?