Tuesday, September 17, 2019

We can learn anything ... yes, anything

It turns out that we can learn anything. Really?!? But how?

First of all, we typically hold ourselves back. We think, "I'm not a good dancer," or "I can't sing," or "I can't fix anything."

Nah, while raw talent might help us get started, we can learn that stuff. We just need to commit, do it and practice. It does help to have a guide, and sometimes those guides are called teachers.

Others hold us back, too. Many conversations are full of gossip, judging, negativity, complaining, excuses, lying and dogmatism. For anyone who brings that junk out through their words, I believe they have unresolved issues and need to improve self-knowledge and how they affect others.

I bring all of this up because I am recapping the education section of 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend. We are 50 books into this project, and this past stretch was all my pleasure because education certainly is a passion of mine.

I have realized that most educators are aliterate. They could read, but they do not. I think that lack of reading holds them back because they don't analyze or go deeper into the effectiveness of homework, grading, racial dynamics and a lot of the challenges they face in the classroom.

So here are 10 education books I recommend. My reading and exploration of education will continue throughout my lifetime, and here are 10 that speak to me.

1. Letters to a Young Teacher (2007) by Jonathan Kozol
2. The Homework Myth (2007) by Alfie Kohn
3. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (2017, 20th anniversary edition) by Beverly Daniel Tatum
4. Punished (2011) by Victor Rios
5. Excellent Sheep (2014) by William Deresiewicz
6. In Defense of a Liberal Education (2015) by Fareed Zakaria
7. You Are Not Where You Go (2015) by Frank Bruni
8. Readicide (2009) by Kelly Gallagher
9. Rethinking School (2018) by Susan Wise Bauer
10. On Your Mark (2014) by Thomas Guskey

Many of these books can spark further exploration of the topics, and they did just that to me, especially with Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum. As a white male, I am no authority on race for sure, but Tatum's book sent my down a rabbit hole of sorts of race-related books. Thank you!

The next category of this project starts tomorrow, and that category is "social conscience." Stay tuned.

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