Outside the Classroom

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

Every month, hundreds of new books for educators are released, so finding the best ones can be difficult. To better help you, your students, and your coworkers, we’ve put together a list of March’s top books on education. Covering such topics as using literature to help students grow as responsible citizens, how the school library and librarian can help empower your school community, and teaching ethics to our youngest learners, 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!

Stop Talking, Start Influencing: 12 Insights From Brain Science to Make Your Message Stick
Jared Cooney Horvath

Love it or hate it, we are all teachers. Whether walking clients through a new program, guiding an audience through a novel proposition, or helping our children to kick a soccer ball, nearly every day we work to disseminate knowledge and wisdom to others. The problem is that very few of us have ever been taught how to teach!

Drawing on Jared Cooney Horvath’s nearly 15 years of experience conducting brain research at prominent universities, teaching students from 10 to 80 years of age, and working closely with organizations and schools across 4 continents, Stop Talking, Start Influencing outlines 12 scientific principles of how people learn. The result is a book that shows readers how to impart their knowledge to others in a manner that sticks with and truly influences them—regardless of the situation or circumstance. For every business leader sick of repeating themselves ad nauseam to colleagues and clients, for every coach tired of endlessly drilling athletes without seeing meaningful improvement, for every entrepreneur who’s had enough of pouring their heart into presentations only to see no lasting impact among the audience…it’s time to stop talking and start influencing!

Reading to Make a Difference: Using Literature to Help Students Speak Freely, Think Deeply, and Take Action
Lester L. Laminack, Katie Kelly

Books as bridges enable readers to speak freely, think deeply, and take action. In Reading to Make a Difference, Lester and Katie build on the work of Rudine Sims Bishop, extending the notion of books as windows, mirrors, and doors. They offer a pathway that can lead students to take action for social justice causes. They show you how to move beyond exposing your students to diverse children’s literature by offering an instructional framework that is applicable to any topic and can be adapted to your own classroom or community. Lester and Katie will show you how to:

  • Select and share text sets in a variety of reading experiences including read-aloud, small group, book clubs, and independent reading
  • Creating a scaffold for students to share their connections with a character, situation, issue, or topic
  • Invite students to pause and reflect
  • Provide opportunities for students to take action individually or collectively in a way that can make a difference.

Each chapter highlights different classrooms in action and concludes with a wealth of suggested resources, both picture books and chapter books, along with helpful guidelines on how to choose text sets that reflect the needs, interests, and backgrounds of your students.

The right book at the right time can open doors of possibility for a better world. Armed with an understanding of who your students are, where they come from, and what matters to them, you can cultivate children as thoughtful, caring citizens, and empower them to become lifelong agents of change.

Leading from the Library: Help Your School Community Thrive in the Digital Age
Shannon McClintock Miller, William Bass

The modern school library supports education in a variety of ways. One essential role librarians play is that of a leader who works collaboratively to build relationships, mold culture and climate, and advocate for the needs of students and the community.

In this book, a librarian and an education leader team up to reflect on the librarian’s ability to build connections in two ways. First, they discuss the benefits of bringing the outside world into the library through the use of social media, videoconferencing, and other tools that allow librarians to partner with others. Then they expand upon these connections by addressing how librarians can lead in the greater educational community by sharing resources and strategies, and partnering with school leaders to tell the story of the school community.

This book will:

  • Highlight the potential of librarians to empower their students, their schools, and their communities, and be learning leaders in the digital age.
  • Include stories of partnerships––from librarians and administrators––illustrating how they can collaborate to create change by harnessing the influence of the school library program to enhance the educational experience.
  • Explore how librarians serve as mentors to their students, delving into many topics that define digital age literacy, including the librarian’s role in reading advocacy, information validity, digital citizenship, and research.
  • Make direct connections to the ISTE Standards for Students, Educators and Education Leaders in each chapter.

Through this book, librarians will discover the influence they can have on the school community as the library becomes the heart of the school, a place where problems are solved, content is explored, connections are made, and discovery happens.

The Alliance Way: The Making of a Bully-Free School
Tina M. Owen-Moore

Award-winning educator Tina M. Owen-Moore details the beliefs and practices that made the Alliance School of Milwaukee the focus of national attention as the first school to open with the mission of being bully-free. The Alliance Way illustrates how creating a safe, inclusive, and academically challenging environment goes beyond a programming approach that targets bullying to a more holistic one in which building relationships takes center stage.

Owen-Moore describes the core tenets adopted by the school’s staff and students, including the importance of shared power and authentic work; the role of relationships and joy in preventing harm; the need to prepare staff to support LGBTQ students and students who have experienced trauma; and systems for reporting and repairing harm when it occurs. She highlights how school leaders can lead from the middle within their districts to bring about change and provides tools and resources such as sample agendas from staff meetings, retreats, and team‐building activities.

Filled with real stories from an innovative school with a critical and compelling mission, The Alliance Way is an inspiring and practical resource for educators seeking answers on how to make schools engaging, accepting, and safe for all students.

Ethics for the Very Young: A Philosophy Curriculum for Early Childhood Education
Erik Kenyon, Diane Terorde-Doyle, and Sharon Carnahan

Can you be brave if you’re afraid? Why do we “know better” and do things anyway? What makes a family? Philosophers have wrestled with such questions for centuries. They are also the stuff of playground debates. Ethics for the Very Young uses the perplexities of young children’s lives to spark philosophical dialogue. Its lessons scaffold discussion through executive function games (Telephone, Red Light Green Light), dialogic reading of picture books, and Reggio Emilia’s art-based inquiry. In the process, children develop skills of dialogue and critical thinking through increased selective attention, self-control, cognitive flexibility, and perspective taking. While the elements of this method are familiar, they are here fused into an organic whole grounded in the history of philosophy and defended by current work in developmental psychology. Building on Wartenberg’s Big Ideas for Little Kids, the present curriculum uses a series of 23 picture books to frame discussions of character, bravery, self-control, friendship, the greater good, respect, and care. Its goal is not to “teach morals” but to help children articulate and develop their own perspectives through dialogue with each other. Each lesson presents teachers’ reflections on how this exploration of life’s enduring questions transformed their school’s culture.

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

About the Author

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Laura Almozara

As a child, Laura spent a lot of time reading and telling stories, at one point reading a new book every day. She took that interest with her to college, where she studied English and journalism. She then started working in publishing and eventually made her way to edtech. Laura is excited to be a part of the Where Learning Clicks team, helping to provide innovative education tools to some of the people who need them most.