Below is a summary of books I have read with a brief description of each. I have intentionally left limited bias for others to makes their own decisions.
One of the most influential books I have read, Heath and Heath’s (2010) book provides realistic and feasible ways to help create change in difficult contexts. The most resonating point, for me, was that resistance to change usually stems from lack of understanding. Broken into three sections, Heath and Heath (201) outline that to create change, one should direct the rider, motivate the elephant, and shape the path. This is a must read for people working in the field of educational technology.
Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2010) Switch: How to change things when change is hard. New York: Broadway.
Robinson’s (2011) book explains how leaders can create conditions to improve teaching and learning in schools. Five dimensions of effective educational leadership are presented:
- Establishing goals and expectations
- Resourcing strategically
- Ensuring quality teaching
- Leading teacher learning and development
- Ensuring an orderly and safe environment
Robinson, V. (2011) Student-centered leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Pink’s (2009) book is a must read for leaders looking to understand true motivation. After explaining how motivation has previously been understood – through rewards and punishments – Pink (2010) argues that in today’s society, Motivation 3.0, this is no longer true. Rather, motivation can be driven by the intrinsic measures of autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Pink, D. (2009). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. Westminster: Penguin Group.
Instructional Design & Assessment:
Instructional Design for Teachers (Carr-Chellman, 2010) provides teachers with a base foundation of how to design units of study in any educational context. Coined ID4T, this approach consists of nine heuristics:
- Writing instructional goals that are clear and simple, and no longer than one sentence
- Writing learning objectives that include a condition, behaviour and criteria
- Writing matching assessments/test items that align with your objectives
- Analyzing learner characteristics to make sure you know who your learners are and what they need
- Selecting materials/texts that meet your learning needs
- Selecting and designing activities that align with you’re the instructional goal, learning objectives and tests
- Selecting (and developing) media/technology that support your activities
- Implementing the plan, and having a “Plan B” just in case
- Evaluating – both formally and informally – and revising the instruction as needed (Carr-Chellman, 2010).
Carr-Chellman, A. (2010). Instructional design for teachers: Improving classroom practice. Florence, KY: Routledge. eISBN: 9780203847275
This book includes strategies to support formative assessing of learners, promoting the use of self-assessment, self-reflection, and metacognition (Chappuis, 2009). The last pages consist of ready-made templates for immediate use.
Chappuis, J. (2009). Seven strategies of assessment for learning. Portland, OR: ETS Assessment Training Institute.
First introduced to Anne Davies at the University of Victoria as my assessment instructor, this short book is packed with strategies for incorporating both formative and summative assessments, many with feedback loops integrated. This book gives a teacher ideas that can be immediately implemented in the classroom. Be aware that the audience for this book is K-12.
Davies, A. (2011). Making classroom assessment work (3rd Ed). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
A backwards design approach to instructional design, this book was developed to compliment K-12 educational contexts. This approach begins with identifying desired results, following with determining acceptable evidence, and planning learning experiences and instruction (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). Developing performance assessments and understanding the six facets of understanding assist the designer in accomplishing a WHERETO vision for the unit design. A complimentary activity book is available to assist newcomers to this approach.
Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd Ed). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
An excellent resource to build, foster, and grow a a schoolwide learning culture with a literacy focus, resulting in more effective reading and writing across disciplines and curriculums. This book emphasizes the importance of engaging all students as readers, and provides excellent resources and strategies to move staff towards attaining this common goal. My personal favourite component to the book is chapter 3, which is full of short strategies, lists and tables to help cultivate this school culture, as well as corresponding appendices to assist in leading this community.