2018-12-21 03:11:00

Must-read books for educators

By Sam Sapuppo
Schools Advisor Sam is a committed educationalist who believes in the transformative power of community. Through his 30-year involvement in the leadership team of a prominent educational institution in Melbourne, Sam uses his extensive knowledge to help school workflows and processes run smarter.

Here are some fantastic reads that we've found especially valuable for educators. 

Clarity Papers

The Clarity Papers

Ann Latham (2018)

The best intentions and the best ideas won't fly without clarity. This helpful book offers practical insights that help you assess how clear you're being in your work - your vision, you mission, your execution; how to produce clarity if it's lacking; and how to facilitate clarity across your organisation. Cut through the noise and get better engagement, better outcomes and better long term wins.

Anticipatory OrgnizationThe Anticipatory Organization

Daniel Burrus (2017)

Change happens faster than we can adapt to it, and agility alone isn't enough to survive. This book helps leaders analyse the distinction between Hard and Soft Trends, in order to predict and solve problems before they happen - moving from reactionary to anticipatory. The best businesses have mastered this lens, and school leadership is in a position to do the same.

Homo Deus

Homo Deus 

Yuval Noah Harari (2015)

Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari follows up his popular book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  with an informed, speculative treatise on where humans might be headed as this century plays out. It's an inspiring and thought-provoking read on our possible futures, and the ethical and philosophical issues we're likely to confront. For anyone in business, and anyone who is an educator, its a primer on preparing for a world of extreme disruption and creative horizons


The Cluetrain Manifesto: 10th Anniversary Edition 

Rick Levine, Doc Searls, Christopher Locke, Jake Mckee

This influential text, first penned in 1999, has become the bedrock of countless businesses and a good chunk of our modern economy. Exploring the implications of a newly networked marketplace it established the model for disruptive, non-hierarchical marketing, and demanded a new way to tackle old problems and questions of communication, engagement and business. As relevant as ever, if you haven't read it yet, you're missing out.

––DislikedThe Courage to be Disliked

Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi (2013)

This hugely popular Japanese book draws on the theories of Alfred Adler, a giant of 19th century psychology, to illuminate important and shared life lessons.  A simple, reflective read, the book is full of liberating parables for leaders and change makers, and offers courage to 'do you' in a way that serves others.

Inevitable CoverThe Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

Kevin Kelly (2016)

Technologist and futurist Kevin Kelly has a great track record of spotting what's in store. Here he lays out 12 trends coming down the pipe that will have a profound impact on the way you, your colleagues and your school communities communicate, work and learn. Whether they manifest in precisely the ways Kelly lays out is a sidebar - he expertly identifies .

Culture of LearningA New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination of a World of Constant Change

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011)

Culture is organic and adaptive. These authors imagine a future of learning where imagination and creativity are critical defences against a world of unknowns and constant change - for all of us, not just students. It offers a playbook for creating an ongoing culture of learning that benefits everyone in a normative world of flux, and argues that collective inquiry unleashes the power of imagination.


Pedagogy of the oppressed

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Paulo Freire (2017)

Freire challenges the traditional model where the teacher is the giver of knowledge and the student is the recipient. He encourages educators to establish reciprocal relationships in which both students and teachers exchange knowledge - a cornerstone of contemporary learning and way to build more equitable learning environments. This treatise helps us interrogate teaching practices and attitudes that arguably hold us - and our students - back.

teaching-as-a-subversive-activityTeaching As a Subversive Activity

Neil Postman (1969)

A seminal text for teachers in the 1970s, this book is worth a revisit in an age where disruption is the norm and new ways of thinking and working are challenging old methods.  As the book contends: "change - constant, accelerating, ubiquitous - is the most striking characteristic of the world we live in and that our educational system has not yet recognised this fact." This still holds true. It also has an amazing subtitle: "A No-Holds-Barred Assault on Outdated Teaching Methods-With Dramatic and Practical Proposals on How Education Can Be Made Relevant to Today's World."

Happy reading! What books are on your must read list?

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