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Educators’ Summer Reading List for 2021

Summer can be the perfect time to expand and develop your educator skills and interests. We’ve handpicked some books so you can work on your professional development at your own pace this summer.

We wanted to explore some of the most popular topics in education and society and highlight books designed to help you reflect, build your knowledge set, and inspire you while also preparing you for the new school year. With the help of Paul Montague, Edmentum’s International Digital Learning and Curriculum Manager, we’ve compiled this guide to some of the top summer reads for 2021.

Classroom Management, Leadership and Engagement

Reclaiming Our Calling: Hold on to the Heart, Mind, and Hope of Education by Brad Gustafson

Reclaiming Our Calling confronts the tension educators are feeling. In this genre-busting book, award-winning educator and principal Brad Gustafson uses stories to capture the heart, mind, and hope of education. 

He talks us through practical solutions and pragmatic take-aways, including how to teach on behalf of the whole learner using a connected approach.

Retrieval Practice 2: Implementing, embedding & reflecting by Kate Jones

The research supporting retrieval practice is overwhelming; it is effective and essential teaching and learning strategy. Leaders, teachers, students, and parents all need to know about this strategy and how it can enhance learning. Retrieval practice is being widely used across schools and the research continues to shape classroom practice.

This book focuses on the effective implementation of retrieval practice to support both teachers and leaders to ensure retrieval practice becomes firmly embedded in classroom routines. There are contributions from leading academics and a range of subject specialists: reflecting and offering their wisdom and expertise as to how retrieval practice can be implemented to have a positive impact in the classroom and on outcomes.

From the latest research to addressing common mistakes and tackling retrieval practice during a global pandemic, Retrieval Practice: Implementing, embedding & reflecting takes a fresh and in-depth look at this tried and tested technique.

After the success of Retrieval Practice: Research & Resources for every classroom, Kate Jones, an evidence-informed teacher and leader, takes the discussion further, going beyond the background, basics, and benefits of this strategy.

Thrive Through the Five: Practical Truths to Powerfully Lead through Challenging Times by Jill Silier

In today’s often challenging climate of education budget shortfalls, ever-evolving academic standards, and widespread cultural transformation, how can educators find the confidence to become the leaders they hope to be? Thrive through the Five helps school leaders navigate that challenging 5 percent of work (and life) when things are really, really hard. The goal of this book is to not just help readers survive through those moments, days, and seasons, but to lead through them and truly thrive.

The superintendent of Gunter ISD, a growing school in Texas, Dr. Siler offers a refreshingly honest account of the challenges and pitfalls of leadership. Coupled with her positivity, wisdom, and insight this book invites educational professionals to take the next best step and move confidently—even through the toughest times.

Social-Emotional Learning

Learner-Centered Innovation: Spark Curiosity, Ignite Passion and Unleash Genius by Katie Martin

Our changing world demands creative thinkers and collaborative problem solvers, but too often, schools stifle growth and discovery in favor of getting through the curriculum or preparing for “the test.” Learning opportunities and teaching methods must evolve to match the ever-changing needs of today’s learners.

In Learner-Centered Innovation, Katie Martin shares evidence-based, practical ways to ignite curiosity, develop passions, and encourage students through the types of learning experiences that today’s modern learners need to thrive in tomorrow’s world. The aim is to explore how we can move towards a more authentic, learner-centered approach.

TRANSFORMATIONAL 21st Century EDUCATION: Essential Tools for the Development of Social, Emotional, and Academic Excellence by Dr. Jennifer Johnston-Jones and Dr. Pam Herkner-Chasse

If you’ve ever wondered what can be done about student apathy, bullying, anxiety, inattention, defiance, and how to help students develop a love of learning, this book is for you. Written with real-life and up-to-date examples, this book offers simple methods to use for integrating social emotional learning, trauma-informed practices, and solution-focused discipline to ensure that students can achieve their academic and psychological potential.

Education Technology

Teachers vs Tech?: The case for an ed tech revolution by Daisy Christodoulou 

The book includes case studies, teacher quotes, and international examples, making this a fascinating – and relevant – book for teachers and those working in education and ed tech today.

Informed throughout by research about the ed tech landscape, it tackles key issues such as how we learn and assessment, through to devices and personalized learning.

Daisy Christodoulou draws on principles of human cognition and evidence about effective teaching and learning practices, to offer suggestions for how technology can help bring about necessary improvements in education.

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