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The Definitive Education Reading List

The List So Far

Here is the list so far. I will keep adding as long as I keep getting responses. Thanks to all who contributed thus far. You can find the original post here:


Name and Location Influential Individual Please describe why this individual influences your teaching practice. What are the titles of the individual’s influential writings?
D’Arcy Norman Audrey Watters Critical thinking about educational technology, business, politics, culture. Hack Education:
The Monsters of Education Technology:
Educating Modern Learners
Jason Wiks Busby, AB Dr. M. Wheatly Sometimes the best we can do is go through awful things together. And that is enough. Finding Our Way: Leadership and the New Science
Dan Scratch – Edmonton AB Paulo Freire
Howard Zinn
bell hooks
I couldn’t pick just one so I went with the 3 most important to me. The following is one reason why I chose each. Freire – His commitment to resisting the “banking model” of education and engaging in a teaching style based on dialogue and democracy. Zinn – His relentless drive to tell history from the perspective of those who were marginalized/defeated/left-out of the textbooks. hooks- Her brilliant feminist analysis of education and how both men and women can create a learning experience to end harmful ideas such as sexism and patriarchy. Freire – Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Zinn – Howard Zinn on Democratic Education
hooks – Teaching to Transgress
Tracy, Calgary, AB Grant Wiggins My first memory of actually basing my practice on research was using Understanding By Design. It continues to be a framework for approaching instruction whether it be for online course design, classroom teaching or teacher professional learning. Understanding by Design
Chelsea O’Leary, Calgary, AB Adrienne Gear Our school development plan over the past two years was to improve student comprehension and understanding. As part of this goal, we were given Adrienne Gear’s non-fiction reading book as a book study and followed through by a professional development session. Both her book and workshop provided several examples and suggestions on how to improve student’s non-fiction knowledge. They could be applied in all subject areas and very easy to implement. I found that my students enjoyed non-fiction reading/writing more with this new approaches to comprehension. My approach to reading and writing became more balanced and more diverse. Non-fiction Reading Power
Non-fiction Writing Power
Chelsea O’Leary, Calgary, AB Trevor Caulkins Trevor Caulkins introduced me to the Power of Ten. The Power of Ten is one method used to understand number sense. It groups ones into ten frames and assists with counting (skip numbers) and operations (addition and subtraction up to 20). Providing students with alternative strategies (and an excellent strategy) for math.
Chelsea O’Leary, Calgary, AB Jenkins There are several experts within educational technology that have informed my practice when incorporating technology. The problem with this field is that it encompasses all subject areas and has many branches: flipped learning, mobile learning, blogging, game-based learning (Gee, J. P.), maker ed, socially connected learning (Jenkins, H).However, I believe the most important aspect of technology is the ability to connect with information, as well as people. Then using it to create meaning and produce projects to demonstrate understanding. Jenkins, H. (2006) – Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century
Matt Hagel & Seely Brown They forced me to view education through a business lens, but not one that conflicts with my beliefs around education. John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison: The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things In Motion
Douglas Thomas, John Seely Brown: A New Culture of Learning
Gerry Fijal, Calgary, AB Paolo Freire Paulo Freire’s work was introduced to me in the late 80’s by Dr. Olenka Bilash when I was engaged in my graduate work at the University of Calgary. Freire’s ideas helped to position some of my thinking about the work that I was engaged in at schools dedicated to a model of independent study. Dr. Bilash’s challenge was in a question that she asked about the relevance of Freire’s thinking given our schooling realities in Alberta. It is a question that continues to gnaw at me as I consider Freire’s philosophical foundations in relation to notions of personalization and student agency. Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972)
Teachers as Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare to Teach (1998) – published posthumously
Jeff Haines, Brooks, AB Noam Chomsky Noam Chomsky influenced my teaching practice by opening my mind and changing my view point on the dynamics of the world and the difference between learning and experiencing education. Chomsky’s concern for humanity and unwavering stance on using logic and fact have been an inspiration. His writings have led my readings to other great educational theorists, such as Paulo Freire, Howard Zinn, and Bertrand Russell. Due to Chomsky’s writings it has influenced how I see students, support their learning and further believe that every student can be successful with a supporting environment. Noam Chomsky’s influential writings include over 100 titles. The first book that motivated me to read more was entitled 9-11. Some other titles that really impacted me were: The Chomsky Reader, Understanding Power, Chomsky on Miseducation and Chomsky on Democracy and Education.
Jeff Mason Brooks, AB Larry Booi Larry Booi was my Social Studies professor at U of A. He continually challenged me to consider why I wanted to teach, why social studies was a subject I desired to teach, and how I was going to make it relevant to students in my classes. He forced me to defend my every thought or opinion, and it impacted how I teach to this day.
Marg Grosfield – Duchess, AB Kathy Cassidy For the last few years I have been working get myself and my teaching to reflect the digital world my students live in. During my research, I came across Kathy Cassidy. She is a grade One teacher in Moose Jaw, Sk who has had her students blogging and tweeting for more than a decade. What is so outstanding is that she never loses her focus – technology is only one tool to use to enhance students learning. She loves bringing the world to her students. She is generous at sharing her experiences and learning with anyone who asks! I was able to attend an online seminar of hers earlier this fall. Whatever I feel is my next step, she has information available to make it easier. She is an amazing source of inspiration. Connected From the Start
One Best Thing
Phil McRae Johb Dewey And Paulo Freire Curiosity, democracy, and a pedagogy of hope (social justice). John Dewey, Democracy and Education (1916)
Paulo Friere, Pedagogy of The Oppressed
Jon Nicholls, London, UK Elliot W Eisner Eisner has a great way of explaining how the arts work in the context of schools and learning. He understands the specific value that learning in and with the arts can have for young people and how they help to develop the mind. The Arts and the Creation of Mind
David Vaillancourt John Taylor Gatto His writing is unsettling and somewhat controversial. He speaks a lot of truth and raises issues that many in education don’t want to address. Gatto really made me think about what school is truly meant for and pushed me to reevaluate a lot of my beliefs about teaching. Dumbing Us Down
Weapons of Mass Instruction
The Underground History of American Education
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