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Which five books on educational reform should I read?

dbixby001 Citizen who understands Education is the most important piece in society.

There are likely many great books about educational reform. Which five are the most informative, relevant, and likely to make a difference? Which one should I read first?

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Principal Designate - The Pioneer Leadership Academy

My Top 3

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"Learning Futures" - Keri Facer, "The Element" - Ken Robinson and "New Kinds of Smart" - Guy Claxton. We're planning a school for 21st Century Learning and these 3 are at the core of our thinking.

ELA HS Illinois

The Global Achievement Gap

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Tony Wagner's book looks at American students's level of preparedness as they enter the work force, citing CEOs and recruiters. He also takes us on walkthroughs of classrooms around the country and examines testing.


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Sometimes you are lucky enough to find just the right book at just the right time. This happened to me with "Disrupting Class" by Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson. It put into words the disconnected thoughts I have had over the years and made me look at education and teaching in ways I had never thought. It's a must read if you are evenly mildly interested in education reform.

Edutopia Consulting Online Editor

Disrupting Class

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Fantastic book-- thanks for bringing it up, Anne.

I've only read excerpts, but know the authors' main assertion is that computer-based learning will offer more individualized learning for each student. Differentiating for each child is one of the greatest challenges in public ed for teachers.

Blended learning environments offers individualized learning but also the social setting, too (that I think is essential, as did Vygotsky, to learning).

Thanks again for your share, and to all others as well so far. Keep 'em coming!


Graduate Faculty at Bank Street College of Education in New York City

Out of the Classroom and into the World

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It may seem self promoting to cite my own book, but list it here because I believe it is unique. It attempts to cut through the mile-deep political jargon and education rhetoric to get to essential questions--what does it mean to EDUCATE a child and to what end. The book delves deeply into classroom life to convey the perspectives of children and teachers, and shows how teachers and children engaging the world around them, the physical and social world beyond the school can vitalize teaching and learning, and forge connections among children, teachers, the children's families, and the communities they live and work in. See the website:

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