Outside the Classroom

June’s Top Books on Education: See What’s Coming Out This Month!

Looking for great books on education to read this summer? With hundreds of books for educators released each month, finding the best ones can be time consuming. To assist you, your students, and your colleagues, we’ve compiled a list of June’s top books on education. With such topics as improving online learning with small teaching techniques, teaching science in the classroom, and using young adult literature to teach students about social justice, these books are full of great information to help you better serve your students and do your job. Check out what we picked for you this month!

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning
Pooja K. Agarwal, Patrice M. Bain

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning empowers educators to harness rigorous research on how students learn and unleash it in their classrooms. In this book, cognitive scientist Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D., and veteran K–12 teacher Patrice M. Bain, Ed.S., decipher cognitive science research and illustrate ways to successfully apply the science of learning in classroom settings. This practical resource is filled with evidence-based strategies that are easily implemented in less than a minute—without additional prepping, grading, or funding!

Research demonstrates that these powerful strategies raise student achievement by a letter grade or more; boost learning for diverse students, grade levels, and subject areas; and enhance students’ higher order learning and transfer of knowledge beyond the classroom. Drawing on a fifteen-year scientist-teacher collaboration, more than 100 years of research on learning, and rich experiences from educators in K–12 and higher education, the authors present highly accessible step-by-step guidance on how to transform teaching with four essential strategies: Retrieval practice, spacing, interleaving, and feedback-driven metacognition.

With Powerful Teaching, you will:

  • Develop a deep understanding of powerful teaching strategies based on the science of learning
  • Gain insight from real-world examples of how evidence-based strategies are being implemented in a variety of academic settings
  • Think critically about your current teaching practices from a research-based perspective
  • Develop tools to share the science of learning with students and parents, ensuring success inside and outside the classroom

Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning is an indispensable resource for educators who want to take their instruction to the next level. Equipped with scientific knowledge and evidence-based tools, turn your teaching into powerful teaching and unleash student learning in your classroom.

Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes
Flower Darby, James M. Lang

The concept of small teaching is simple: small and strategic changes have enormous power to improve student learning. Instructors face unique and specific challenges when teaching an online course. This book offers small teaching strategies that will positively impact the online classroom.

This book outlines practical and feasible applications of theoretical principles to help your online students learn. It includes current best practices around educational technologies, strategies to build community and collaboration, and minor changes you can make in your online teaching practice, small but impactful adjustments that result in significant learning gains.

  • Explains how you can support your online students
  • Helps your students find success in this non-traditional learning environment
  • Covers online and blended learning
  • Addresses specific challenges that online instructors face in higher education

Small Teaching Online presents research-based teaching techniques from an online instructional design expert and the bestselling author of Small Teaching.

How We Teach Science: What’s Changed, and Why It Matters
John L. Rudolph

Why teach science? The answer to that question will determine how it is taught. Yet despite the enduring belief in this country that science should be taught, there has been no enduring consensus about how or why.

This is especially true when it comes to teaching scientific process. Nearly all of the basic knowledge we have about the world is rock solid. The science we teach in high schools in particular—laws of motion, the structure of the atom, cell division, DNA replication, the universal speed limit of light—is accepted as the way nature works. Everyone also agrees that students and the public more generally should understand the methods used to gain this knowledge. But what exactly is the scientific method?

Ever since the late 1800s, scientists and science educators have grappled with that question. Through the years, they’ve advanced an assortment of strategies, ranging from “the laboratory method” to the “five-step method” to “science as inquiry” to no method at all. How We Teach Science reveals that each strategy was influenced by the intellectual, cultural, and political circumstances of the time. In some eras, learning about experimentation and scientific inquiry was seen to contribute to an individual’s intellectual and moral improvement, while in others it was viewed as a way to minimize public interference in institutional science.

John Rudolph shows that how we think about and teach science will either sustain or thwart future innovation, and ultimately determine how science is perceived and received by the public.

Life Finds A Way: What Evolution Teaches Us About Creativity
Andreas Wagner

In Life Finds a Way, biologist Andreas Wagner reveals the deep symmetry between innovation in biological evolution and human cultural creativity. Rarely is either a linear climb to perfection—instead, “progress” is typically marked by a sequence of peaks, plateaus, and pitfalls. For instance, in Picasso’s forty-some iterations of Guernica, we see the same combination of small steps, incessant reshuffling, and large, almost reckless, leaps that characterize the way evolution transformed a dinosaur’s grasping claw into a condor’s soaring wing. By understanding these principles, we can also better realize our own creative potential to find new solutions to adversity.

Ultimately, Life Finds a Way offers a new framework for the nature of creativity, enabling us to better adapt, grow, and change in art, business, or science—that is, in life.

Reading for Action: Engaging Youth in Social Justice through Young Adult Literature
Ashley S. Boyd, Janine J. Darragh

This book illustrates how teachers can draw upon young adult literature to facilitate students’ social action. Each chapter centers on one novel that represents a contemporary topic including police brutality, women’s rights, ecojustice, and bullying. In each, authors provide pre-, during-, and after reading strategies for teaching that connect the social issues in the texts to students’ lives and to the world around them. They then offer a multitude of avenues for student action, emphasizing the need to move readers from understanding and awareness to asserting their own agency and capacities to effect change in their local, national, and global communities. In addition to methods for scaffolding students’ analysis of texts and topics, authors also offer a plethora of additional resources such as documentaries, canonical companions for study, connected music, and supplementary lesson plans.

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see May’s top books on education!

About the Author

avatar

Ryan Zaharako

Ryan is a former Marine who graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Radio/TV/Film with a focus on writing. In 2005, he became a copywriter in entertainment advertising in Hollywood, California before recently joining the marketing team at Edgenuity. Ryan is excited to be working in the rewarding world of education technology.