Recommended Reading

The most effective professional development is often initiated and determined by the teacher themselves. For many, this is achieved through engaging with the ever growing online community such as Twitter, blogs, TeachMeets etc.  However, for others the book (whether digital or old fashioned paper) is still their primary source of furthering their learning and practice.

On this page, there is a selection of recommended titles that hopefully inspire, are thought provoking and ultimately improve your practice. This is not an exhaustive list, so please leave further suggestions by posting a comment at the bottom of the page.

*Please note the descriptions are courtesy of Amazon.co.uk and by clicking on the image you will be re-directed to the respective page on the Amazon website.

 

 

On publication in 2009 John Hattie’s Visible Learning presented the biggest ever collection of research into what actually work in schools to improve children’s learning. Not what was fashionable, not what political and educational vested interests wanted to champion, but what actually produced the best results in terms of improving learning and educational outcomes. It became an instant bestseller and was described by the TES as revealing education’s ‘holy grail’.

Now in this latest book, John Hattie has joined forces with cognitive psychologist Greg Yates to build on the original data and legacy of the Visible Learning project, showing how it’s underlying ideas and the cutting edge of cognitive science can form a powerful and complimentary framework for shaping learning in the classroom and beyond.

Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn explains the major principles and strategies of learning, outlining why it can be so hard sometimes, and yet easy on other occasions. Aimed at teachers and students, it is written in an accessible and engaging style and can be read cover to cover, or used on a chapter-by-chapter basis for essay writing or staff development.

 

In November 2008, John Hattie’s ground-breaking book Visible Learning synthesised the results of more than fifteen years research involving millions of students and represented the biggest ever collection of evidence-based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning.

Visible Learning for Teachers takes the next step and brings those ground breaking concepts to a completely new audience. Written for students, pre-service and in-service teachers, it explains how to apply the principles of Visible Learning to any classroom anywhere in the world. The author offers concise and user-friendly summaries of the most successful interventions and offers practical step-by-step guidance to the successful implementation of visible learning and visible teaching in the classroom.

 

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset. Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success-but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals-personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

 

Essential reading following an astounding summer of sport; if you’ve ever wondered what makes a champion, Bounce has the answer.

What are the real secrets of sporting success, and what lessons do they offer about life? Why doesn’t Tiger Woods “choke”? Why are the best figure skaters those that have fallen over the most and why has one small street in Reading produced more top table tennis players than the rest of the country put together.

Two-time Olympian and sports writer and broadcaster Matthew Syed draws on the latest in neuroscience and psychology to uncover the secrets of our top athletes and introduces us to an extraordinary cast of characters, including the East German athlete who became a man, and her husband – and the three Hungarian sisters who are all chess grandmasters. Bounce is crammed with fascinating stories and statistics.

Looking at controversial questions such as whether talent is more important than practice, drugs in sport (and life) and whether black people really are faster runners, the mind-bending Bounce is a must-read for the hardened sports nut or brand new convert.

 

The Hidden Lives of Learners takes the reader deep into the hitherto undiscovered world of the learner. It explores the three worlds which together shape a student’s learning – the public world of the teacher, the highly influential world of peers, and the student’s own private world and experiences. What becomes clear is that just because a teacher is teaching, does not mean students are learning. Using a unique method of data collection through meticulous recording – audio, video, observations, interviews, pre- and post-tests – and the collation and analysis of what occurred inside and outside the classroom, Graham Nuthall has definitively documented what is involved for most students to learn and retain a concept. In the author’s lifetime the significance of his discoveries and the rare mix of quantitative and qualitative methods were widely recognised and continue to be one of the foundation stones of evidence-based quality education. This book is the culmination of Professor Graham Nuthall’s forty years of research on learning and teaching. It is written with classroom teachers and teachers of teachers in mind. But realising time was short and that his life’s work was laid out in learned papers for fellow researchers, he wrote this brief but powerful book for a much wider audience as well: for all those who seek a better understanding of classroom learning.

 

From Expeditionary Learning Schools comes a proven approach to student assessment

Leaders of Their Own Learning offers a new way of thinking about assessment based on the celebrated work of Expeditionary Learning Schools across the country. Student–Engaged Assessment is not a single practice but an approach to teaching and learning that equips and compels students to understand goals for their learning and growth, track their progress toward those goals, and take responsibility for reaching them. This requires a set of interrelated strategies and structures and a whole–school culture in which students are given the respect and responsibility to be meaningfully engaged in their own learning.

 

In a dynamic and ever changing education climate it is important to re-evaluate practice in schools on a regular basis in order to ensure that we are doing the right thing for our children. With questions being raised over the value of homework, Mark Creasy advises teachers and parents on how to get the most out of homework without letting it get in the way of their lives. This book questions the necessity of homework while recognising that most teachers have a statutory duty to provide it. The author provides suggestions for how teachers can make homework more effective, applicable and less pointless; organising classroom learning to allow children to set their own homework and creating opportunities for learning out of everyday situations. Founded on over 10 years’ of Mark’s real teaching practice in both primary and secondary schools Unhomework is entertaining as well as informative, being underpinned by personal anecdotes from his teaching career. It challenges the current status quo of traditionally set homework and provides an insight for parents and educators about how homework can be done differently, for greater effect as an extension to classroom practice. Unhomework is based on the 5Rs and these are detailed for teachers to implement to secure Unhomework successfully. With practical ideas for teachers across year groups and subjects to use Unhomework is for teachers (Year 3-13) at all stages of the profession, senior managers in primary and secondary phases, independent and state sectors, parents, teacher trainers.

 

This book is about engaging learners in great learning. It’s about the dance that happens behind positive engagement the cool moves and steps a teacher needs to choreograph in order to create a context where great learning can happen and about the importance of relationships in engagement and how rapport can be learned. The book also shines a spotlight on the role of the teacher and how he or she can do the right things to get the absolute best from students. Some of the best learning takes place when, rather than imposing on young people a pre-determined curriculum, you find the stimulus that is relevant and engaging for them and build from there. Then the curriculum starts to emerge in a way that simply hooks students into learning almost despite themselves. There is nothing for them to push against (What’s the point?! This is boring..! ) as they have helped shape the direction of the lesson in a way that makes it real and useful to them. All this without them even realising what is going on! They have been lured into learning and the process is shared with teachers in this book, with examples as to how it can be done and how the author has done it. Reading this book will support teachers in developing ideas that motivate everybody in the classroom, from infants to secondary and beyond. Whether you’re new to teaching or have vast experience you will find in this book inspiration to raise achievement, improve behaviour and enhance creativity in the classroom and you will change the way you approach lesson planning forever. Winner of the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education category of the British Book Design and Production Awards 2012.

 

What is it that inspirational teachers do differently? In short, they plan for their pupils to be inspirational. Many teachers who join the teaching profession do so because they were taught by inadequate teachers and they feel they can provide a far better and more exciting education for youngsters than they received themselves. Other teachers speak with clarity of detail about stimulating and influential teachers who inspired their lives and now they want to do the same. This book is an examination of what our most inspirational teachers do in order to get creative and inspirational responses from children. It aims to put fun back into teaching, provide a framework for creativity in the twenty-first century and act as a book of hope for the a new rich and vivid curriculum.

 

“The Independent Thinking Series” brings together some of the most innovative practitioners working in education today under the guidance of Ian Gilbert, founder of Independent Thinking Ltd.”Leadership with a Moral Purpose” gives all primary heads – aspiring, newly appointed or those who think ‘There must be something more than this!’ – the ideas, techniques, tools and direction to turn their schools ‘Inside-Out’ and inspire them to lead with the heart and with the soul. Too many schools these days are ‘outside in’ schools, running to keep up with someone else’s agenda or priorities. In this timely book, Will Ryan gives Heads the confidence to do those things they know are right because they are right for the children, right for the staff and right for the community.Contents include developing an ‘Inside Out Vision’ for: the school; the classroom; inclusion; social and emotional aspects of learning; positive attitudes; a professional learning community; leadership; and, parents.

 

This book is about how teachers can help young people become better learners, both in school and out. It is about creating a climate or a culture in the classroom and in the school more widely that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively. Building Learning Power explains what this means and why it is a good idea, and introduces some of the small, do-able things that busy teachers can do to create such a climate. Students who are more confident of their own learning ability learn faster and learn better. They concentrate more, think harder and find learning more enjoyable. They do better in their tests and external examinations. And they are easier and more satisfying to teach. Even a small investment in building learning power pays handsome dividends for a school. But it also prepares youngsters better for an uncertain future. Today s schools are educating not just for exam results but for lifelong learning. To thrive in the twenty-first century, it is not enough to leave school with a clutch of examination certificates. You have to have learnt how to be tenacious and resourceful, imaginative and logical, self-disciplined and self-aware, collaborative and inquisitive. So Building Learning Power is for anyone who wants to know how to get better results and contribute to the development of real-life, lifelong learners both at once. In other words, it is for teachers, advisers, teacher trainers, parents and anyone else involved in formal or informal education. It is particularly for people who want more than sound-bites and quick fixes. Some of the early approaches to learning to learn were appealing but unsatisfying. They were built on shaky scientific foundations, and they did not lead to cumulative growth in students real-life self-confidence or ingenuity. Building learning power BLP is firmly grounded in both solid science and practical experience; it takes root and develops over time, and its results are therefore all the more robust.

 

Guy Claxton’s classic Building Learning Power: Helping young people become better learners presented both a distinctive goal for education, and a set ofpractical ideas to help schools and teachers attain it. Now, in The Learning Powered School, Guy and his co-authors look at how the ideas and practice have developed, and flourished, over the intervening eight years. The book is rooted in the experience of schools and teachers who have seen the promise of Building Learning Power and have taken up the challenge of realigning their classroom practice, their professional development, and their engagement with parents, sometimes quite radically. Many examples of that trail-blazing experience are described here some as cameos and vignettes, others as extended studies with in-depth discussion. The book also deals with the ideas of learning power, and the science and evidence behind them, which underpin the classroom successes. And of course it reviews the impact including that on results and Ofsted grades. Learning power, and the importance of building it in all young people, could be the keys to transforming education to make it truly fit for purpose in the twenty-first century. The Learning Powered School describes a work in progress, to be sure, but the progress so far is substantial and the future directions increasingly clear.

 

Best-selling author Shirley Clarke provides a wealth of high quality ideas, practical strategies, classroom examples and whole-school case studies for teachers in primary and secondary schools.

The most comprehensive of Shirley Clarke’s titles includes extensive examples and realia, in full colour. The book is clearly structured around the ways in which teachers actually teach, with QR coded web video clips to illustrate key points in action.

– Helps teachers create an environment for pupils to be active learners, constant reviewers and self-assessors

– Ensures teachers start and finish lessons effectively by initially establishing their prior knowledge and capturing their interest and finally encouraging pupil reflection to find out what has been learnt and what still needs to be developed

– Develops learning by helping children articulate their understanding and focusing on constant review and improvement

– Focuses on whole-school development including lesson study, assessment policies and stories from outstanding schools

 

Down to earth, practical and direct, Active Learning Through Formative Assessment gives you the essential ‘how to’ information you need, with clear principles and theory to underpin the wealth of practical advice and examples.

– Maximises pupil engagement, effective dialogue and reflective thinking

– Packed with practical advice across all subjects from early years to secondary

– Clearly explains how to use formative assessment to promote active learning in primary and secondary classrooms

– Well-chosen examples flag up the practical ‘implementation’ issues across the full age and subject range. They exemplify effective learning objectives, clear success criteria, talk partner techniques, effective questioning, quality discussion with pupils, and self- and peer evaluation of work

– Shows how best to support teachers in implementing eff ective formative assessment across the whole school, a cluster of schools or any other educational setting, and how best to support class teachers in their journey through the culture and practice of formative assessment

Themes include:
– how to develop a ‘growth mindset’, so that pupils enjoy challenges rather than avoid them

– how popular strategies such as ‘thinking skills’ and ‘building learning power’ complement formative assessment

– planning with key skills

 

In a world where academic success can seem all-important in deciding our children’s success in adult life, Paul Tough sees things very differently.

Instead of fixating on grades and exams, he argues that we, as parents, should be paying more attention to our children’s characters.

Inner resilience, a sense of curiosity, the hidden power of confidence – these are the most important things we can teach our children, because it is these qualities that will enable them to live happy, fulfilled and successful lives.

In this personal, thought-provoking and timely book, Paul Tough offers a clarion call to parents who are seeking to unlock their child’s true potential – and ensure they really succeed.

 

Education is the platform for our success or failure. Is our system still fit for purpose? This fascinating study examines this and other key questions in the primary education environment. We live in a world dramatically different from the one we grew up in, the one we were educated in; a world that is changing at an accelerated rate. Education is the platform for our success or failure. The critical question is: is our system still fit for purpose? Will our children be equipped to face the challenges the future holds; the rapidly changing employment patterns and the global environmental, economic and social crises ahead of us? Or will our children grow up to resent their school years and blame them for their unfulfilled potential and achievement? “Leading Tomorrow’s Schools Today” explores these questions in the context of early schooling, primary education, some of the most formative and important years of our children’s lives. The book presents powerful arguments that suggest an imperative for change and will explore the possible strategies and thinking that can offer a solution. The author provides real context and concrete examples based on the incredible journey taken by one primary school, Grange. He shows how, by developing a creative and futures facing system, it not only evolved from being a school on the verge of failure to a school globally recognised for its success and innovation in two years but more importantly created a system that has equipped its children to be not only prepared for but confident in their futures.

 

Change by Richard Gerver will give you all you need to understand change, to adapt to change, and to inspire others to do the same.

‘To be successful, you have to be able to adapt to change’ – Sir Alex Ferguson

The pace of change is greater than ever. We all face new challenges every day in our jobs and in our personal lives. Those who can handle change are the most fulfilled. Those who fear change will find it hardest to thrive.

As a head teacher, Richard Gerver famously transformed a failing school into one of the most acclaimed learning environments in the world – in just two years. He inspired staff and teachers to reach their full potential. As a hugely popular speaker and author, he now helps individuals and companies to embrace change.

This book is his powerful personal reflection on change. Full of wisdom and practical insights, it will help you in any situation you face. Whether you are leading a company through change or looking for a new direction in life, let Richard Gerver be your guide.

 

Ken Robinson, author of the international bestseller The Element and the most viewed talk on TED.com, offers a practical guide to discovering your passions and natural aptitudes, and finding the point at which the two meet: Finding Your Element.

The Element has inspired readers all over the world to change their lives and this new companion is a practical guide containing all the tools, techniques and resources you need to discover the depth of your abilities and unlock your potential. Among the questions it answers are:

. How do I find out what my talents and passions are?

. What if I love something I’m not good at – or I’m good at something I don’t love?

. What if I can’t make a living from my Element?

. How do I do help my children find their Element?

 

Quiet by Susan Cain will change how you think about introverts forever

A Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller

Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can’t name and don’t understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we’re embarrassed.

That fact is whether we’re an introvert or an extrovert.

The introvert/extrovert divide is the most fundamental dimension of personality. And at least a third of us are on the introverted side. Some of the world’s most talented people are introverts. Without them we wouldn’t have the Apple computer, the theory of relativity and Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

Yet extroverts have taken over. Shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as being negative. Introverts feel reproached for being the way they are.

In Quiet, Susan Cain shows how the brain chemistry of introverts and extroverts differs, and how society misunderstands and undervalues introverts. She gives introverts the tools to better understand themselves and take full advantage of their strengths.

Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, Quiet will permanently change how we see introverts – and how you see yourself.

 

Teachers’ Pocketbooks are easy-to-access professional development books written for teachers and other education professionals working in primary and secondary schools and colleges. They’re designed to put you in the picture – fast.

Suitable for mainstream and special needs staff, Teachers’ Pocketbooks cover these broad areas: jobs/roles within a school; teaching & learning; social, emotional & behavioural issues; personal and professional development; wider school issuesspecial needs.

Pocketbooks focus on helping you develop your professional knowledge and skills. They cover the latest developments in teaching and learning, current thinking and how to implement good evidence-based practice. Our authors seek to educate and inform and they share their knowledge with passion and enthusiasm: you’ll find Pocketbooks inspiring and motivating. The portable A6 format means you can easily keep them to hand for reference. Alternatively, if you prefer to read and learn on screen, e-Pocketbooks fit the bill.

Whatever it is that makes you you, can you affect it? Your answer to that question gives us a glimpse into your ‘mindset’. People with fixed mindsets believe that fundamental qualities like intelligence are essentially stable; people with growth mindsets believe that such qualities can be developed and nurtured. As teachers, if we can foster growth mindsets in our students the results will be transformative. Barry Hymer and Mike Gershon begin by explaining how learners with growth mindsets are: more open to challenges and constructively critical feedback; resilient in the face of obstacles and initial failure; convinced that effort makes a difference; able to learn well with and from others; likely to rise to the top – and stay there. Practical strategies for developing this kind of learner is the focus of the rest of the book throughout which cartoons, diagrams and visual prompts support the text. The chapter Trial and Error is about high challenge tasks and the value of errors, mistakes and initial failure. Later chapters cover what exactly is meant by effort and how to make it appeal to students; the theory and practice of feedback (as opposed to praise and prizes); acquiring meta-cognitive tools for ‘thinking about thinking’ and ‘learning about learning’; the power of language and drama to raise awareness of growth mindsets; and growing group growth mindsets.

Philosophy for Children (P4C) was conceived by Professor Matthew Lipman in the late 1960s. It encourages children to develop their own way of thinking about the world and aims to help them ‘become more thoughtful, more reflective, more considerate and more reasonable individuals’. A recent study in Scottish primary schools concluded that one hour of philosophical enquiry each week can promote development in cognitive ability; development in critical reasoning skills and dialogue in the classroom; emotional and social development. This cartoon-illustrated Pocketbook provides a practical introduction to P4C in the classroom. Using real classroom examples, it explains how teachers can engage, support and facilitate students across the age range in philosophical enquiry. It outlines a ten-step process from building a community of enquiry and presenting a stimulus; through thinking time, question-making question-airing and question-choosing; and on to collaborative exploration and review. Chapters are devoted to defining P4C, choosing a stimulus, questions, the Socratic Method, facilitating and review. A final section contains a broad range of training and classroom-ready resources. The text is supported by helpful tables and graphics throughout. Authors Barry Hymer and Roger Sutcliffe are both well respected in the P4C field. Both have taught in UK schools and both now train teachers. Barry who also trained and practised as an educational psychologist, is visiting professor of education at the University of Cumbria and director of the education consultancy Still Thinking UK Ltd . Roger is a founder member and president of SAPERE, and author of The Philosophy Club.

‘Talk for Writing’ is a proven approach to teaching creative writing that is fun, engaging and motivating for children. Now you can apply this approach to teaching non-fiction writing across the curriculum.

Talk for Writing across the Curriculum shows you how to help children speak the language of non-fiction before they attempt to write it. This is a three-step process using fun, multi-sensory activities. It helps build children’s confidence and linguistic ability to such an extent they are able to create their own writing.

This practical resource offers:

  • Fully worked, tried and tested examples of how to apply ‘Talk for Writing’ to each non-fiction text type
  • A wide range of fun, warm-up oral activities such as connective games, Professor Know-It-All, as well as text-based activities such as ‘boxing up’, creating toolkits and ‘magpieing’
  • Guidance for teachers on how to apply the approach across the curriculum
  • DVD of Pie Corbett’s workshops with teachers showing ‘Talk for Writing’ in action
  • Video footage of classes engaged in the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach
  • Advice on how to use the DVD and handouts to train all staff in the approach
  • Evidence of impact

Talk for Writing across the Curriculum is designed for busy teachers in mind and will help them transform their children’s writing and attainment across the curriculum.

In `Key to Learning’ Galina Dolya transforms all the Vygotskian theory of child development into a clear, accessible course of practice for children between the ages of 3 and 7. Through two small-group sessions a day – as part of a language rich, play-based early years curriculum – the twelve strands of the Developmental Cognitive Curriculum provide them with a basic toolkit to develop learning abilities and enable them to access all areas of human knowledge. The book explains the theory behind the practice and gives many examples of sessions that a teacher can implement immediately to see the effectiveness of the approach.

Vygotsky in Action in the Early Years is based on the concepts of Lev Vygotsky, one of the twentieth century’s most influential theorists in the field of early years education. Drawing upon the Key to Learning curriculum, a unique and inspiring programme of cognitive development activities for the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, the author shows how you can encourage young children to become independent learners.

Vygotsky in Action in the Early Years transforms Vygotsky’s theory of child development into clear, accessible activities for children between the ages of three and seven, and explains the theory underpinning the practice, enabling practitioners to achieve this in their own setting.

This invaluable resource includes access to online ready-to-use activities providing a total of over 600 specially designed learning experiences, in 12 teacher-friendly curriculum modules. With links to the Early Years Foundation Stage learning goals, this comprehensive programme helps you enable children to:

  • plan and organise their own activities, through a balance of teacher-directed and child-initiated activities;
  • openly express their point of view, developing language, listening and attention skills;
  • solve problems creatively, using thinking skills;
  • interact freely and confidently with others, improving social skills;
  • become self-confident, self-motivated learners, with the mindset and mental tools they need for later learning securely in place.

Early years practitioners and Key Stage 1 teachers wanting to extend and enrich children’s cognitive development will find this an invaluable tool to complement and systemise existing good practice.

3 Comments

3 thoughts on “Recommended Reading

  1. some excellent book ideas. Well done, i will be purchasing the Early Years ones very soon.

    Like

  2. The links don’t work for some of the books at the moment.

    Like

  3. Janie Day

    I recommend Theories of Childhood. An Introduction to Dewey,Montessori,Erikson,Piaget and Vygotsky. This a very interesting and easy to read book.

    Like

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