We Got This is a fresh take on critical pedagogy that’s approachable for the everyday educator. Its visuals, accessibility, and narrative-driven framework introduces the concept for educators unfamiliar with equitable democratic classrooms, and offers further support for those who are pushing this line of work. It’s not alienating nor demeaning to those who have lost their way. As a result, this book is just as great a gift for a jaded instructor to an exhausted, but beloved educator. Read this!
This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education by José Luis Vilson heralds a personal, provocative story of doing what’s best for children. Vilson presents a narrative of his school experience and how that has impacted his teaching, allowing a deep viewpoint into his perspective and helping us reflect on our practice.
Teaching to Transgress summarizes hooks’ viewpoints through a series of essays which manifest a strong structure for understanding, analyzing, and changing systemic issues. hooks takes complicated concepts and writes acutely, allowing educators to adopt a changed mindset without feeling overwhelmed, targeted, or attacked.
I always bite my tongue when I hear educators defend the testing industry, even if they don’t outright support it. “Standardized testing is just one tool in the toolbox!” I never wanted to cause argument, perhaps if standardized testing wasn’t utilized as a funding tool — was used for learning purposes of students (and not punishment for everyone else) — it would be useful.
Exemplifying the issues of prestigious-college seeking youth, our obsession with “being the best”, and what education truly means are just some of the giant ideas tackled. I utilize excerpts of this book every year in my classroom to emphasize the dangers of “next step education” and why we all need to reflect on our lives.
Ted Dintersmith’s What School Could Be is a book that makes me feel nervous anticipation the entire time I read: not because of fear — but because the inspiring tone and message are so paramountly on-point that it siphons my feelings as an educator every single page. It makes me want to go into school the next day and forcefully demand education changes for the better.
In Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant proposes that the most creative of us — the ones who make and innovative — are those who don’t conform to society’s expectations. As Grant states, “…the hallmark of originality is rejecting the default and exploring whether a better option exists.” Throughout the book, we are introduced to a variety of stories, examples, and research of original thought processes and how they were gained.