If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve,
not because they are not good enough,
but because they can be even better,
there is no limit to what we can achieve.
(Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment)
I read over 100 education and research-related books, but I always invite people on Twitter to share their own preferences. It is very difficult to make a fair selection as each book adds to one’s knowledge in its unique way that cannot be substituted by another book on the same topic. So I thought of a test: what if your entire library burned? What are the only three books you would keep from each domain or topic had you been given this only chance?
These are my choices and I hope you can read at least one of them from each field…
CLASSROOM CULTURE, routines and core strategies
- Making Thinking Visible (Ron Ritchart) – Amazon
- Teach Like a Champion (Doug Lemov) – Amazon
- The Hidden Lives of Learners (Graham Nuthall) – Amazon
- Trivium (Martin Robinson) – Amazon *Martin’s book is the only one that I was completely immersed in and made it to the top 3 books. It is by far the best writing with regards to curriculum – from vision, clarity, depth to eloquence and breadth of detail.
- Making Every Lesson Count (Shaun Allison & Andy Tharby) – Amazon – Possibly the best and most comprehensive book on pedagogy that I have ever read, with clear and practical strategies that can be applied in every subject as it addresses broad teaching principles.
- Embedded Formative Assessment (Dylan Wiliam) – Amazon – If you read one book on assessment this should be it. In addition to the practical tools and strategies for K-12 classrooms, it explains the research and presents the evidence for their use.
EDUCATION PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE
- Why Don’t Students Like School? (Daniel T. Willingham) – Amazon – The most eye-opening book I read on the psychology behind student cognition and behavior.
- How We Learn (Benedict Carey) Amazon
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning – Amazon