Happy New Year! Hopefully, you had a restful winter break and are ready to be back in the classroom, helping your students. To help get you there, we’re sharing our picks for January’s top 5 education book releases.
Interested in learning more about how we learn? We’ve got a book for you. What about developing critical thinking skills with your students, or incorporating project-based learning at the high-school level? We’ve got books covering those topics as well. Each of these is full of great information to help you better serve your students and do your job, so check out what we picked for you this month!
How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now
An illuminating dive into the latest science on our brain’s remarkable learning abilities and the potential of the machines we program to imitate them
The human brain is an extraordinary machine. Its ability to process information and adapt to circumstances by reprogramming itself is unparalleled and it remains the best source of inspiration for recent developments in artificial intelligence. In How We Learn, Stanislas Dehaene decodes the brain’s biological mechanisms, delving into the neuronal, synaptic, and molecular processes taking place. He explains why youth is such a sensitive period, during which brain plasticity is maximal, but assures us that our abilities continue into adulthood and that we can enhance our learning and memory at any age. We can all learn to learn by taking maximal advantage of the four pillars of the brain’s learning algorithm: attention, active engagement, error feedback, and consolidation.
The exciting advancements in artificial intelligence of the last 20 years reveal just as much about our remarkable abilities as they do about the potential of machines. How We Learn finds the boundary of computer science, neurobiology, and cognitive psychology to explain how learning really works and how to make the best use of the brain’s learning algorithms, in our schools and universities, as well as in everyday life.
Activity-Based Teaching in the Art Museum: Movement, Embodiment, Emotion
Elliott Kai-Kee, Lissa Latina, and Lilit Sadoyan
An essential resource for museum professionals, teachers, and students, the award-winning Teaching in the Art Museum set a new standard in the field of gallery education. This follow-up book blends theory and practice to help educators—from teachers and docents to curators and parents—create meaningful interpretive activities for children and adults.
Written by a team of veteran museum educators, Activity-Based Teaching in the Art Museum offers diverse perspectives on embodiment, emotions, empathy, and mindfulness to inspire imaginative, spontaneous interactions that are firmly grounded in history and theory. The authors begin by surveying the emergence of activity-based teaching in the 1960s and 1970s and move on to articulate a theory of play as the cornerstone of their innovative methodology. The volume is replete with sidebars describing activities facilitated with museum visitors of all ages.
Promoting Rigor Through Higher Level Questioning equips teachers with effective questioning strategies and:
- Challenges students to think critically, as well as explore their curiosity and imagination.
- Explores the power of questioning to transform the classroom.
- Utilizes Bloom’s taxonomy as the key to formulating higher-level questions.
- Includes questioning strategies for students’ assignments, assessments, day-to-day activities, and classroom discussions.
- Helps make lively, in-depth dialogue the norm.
Teachers must create a culture in which students expect and can engage in rigorous, higher-level questioning and discussions, and are comfortable enough that they can ask those questions of one another and themselves.
Assessment Literacy: An Educator’s Guide to Understanding Assessment, K–12
Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Susan Lenski, and Dana L. Grisham
This clear, no-nonsense book guides current and future teachers through the concepts, tools, methods, and goals of classroom literacy assessment. The expert authors examine the roles of formative, summative, and benchmark assessments; demystify state and national tests and standards; and show how assessment can seamlessly inform instruction. Strategies for evaluating, choosing, and interpreting assessments are discussed, as are ways to communicate data to parents and administrators. User-friendly resources include boxed vignettes from teachers and researchers, practical assessment tips (and traps to avoid), and 13 reproducible planning forms and handouts. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8½” x 11″ size.
Let’s Get Real About PBL
Does project-based learning (PBL) feel just out of reach in your secondary classroom? Is project-planning an overwhelming project in and of itself? Dr. Jennifer Pieratt, a consultant and former teacher, knows firsthand how challenging designing projects can be, especially for secondary teachers with large caseloads and short class periods to engage in meaningful teaching and learning.
In this hands-on, interactive guide, Pieratt supports secondary teachers through the iterative process of planning authentic project-based learning experiences. Using backward design, she gives teachers ready-to-use strategies for identifying the best concepts to tackle in PBL experiences, brainstorming realistic projects, facilitating meaningful learning, and creating formative and summative assessments. The book is visually accessible in style and features:
- #realtalk soundbites that tackle the challenges to implementing PBL
- Tips and resources to support the project-planning process
- Planning forms to guide you through planning your projects
- Key terminology and acronyms in PBL
- Exercises to help you reflect and process throughout your project plans
Master PBL planning with this clear, efficient, and easy-to-use guide to creating enriching experiences for your students!
Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see December’s top 5 education book releases.