February 2019 Bookshelf
Books 14 February 2019
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
If you’ve ever spent time digging through a personal development library, you’ll notice a common theme across the genre: “Our fear is a survival mechanism that kept us alive when facing lions, tigers, and bears [oh my!]” Then, you’ll discover stories about why and how we should work with and against that ancient instinct. Yet, as the authors of Factfulness are quick to point out, we have a tendency to continue viewing the world with that same lens—as one big scary place—that rarely matches the facts of today. In Factfulness, the Rosling trio shows you a path to escape your fear-first thinking and ground yourself in the major optimistic trends that show the world isn’t doing so bad afterall.
The Order of Time
When exploring education from a blank slate, the questions we ask ourselves are unbounded. A reasonable question like, “Why does seat-time matter?” can lead to far more ambiguous questions like “What is time?” Carlo Rovelli, author of The Order of Time, is ready to lead you down the rabbit hole of the latter question. As a taste of what you’ll discover, consider watching someone approach the horizon of a black hole. They would actually slow down so much (from your perspective) that you would never see them fall in. The image of their body would disappear as if you simply turned off a TV. With that in mind, see what else there is to discover in Rovelli’s latest work.
Open Up, Education! How Open Way Learning Can Transform Schools
Adam Haigler and Ben Owens
The words “school,” “student,” “teacher,” and “classroom” conjure up images of a single building filled with children grouped by age cohorts and where learning occurs on a time-bound schedule, just 180 days each year. Adam Haigler and Ben Owens, authors of Open Up, Education!, challenge you to question this entire line of thinking. What opportunities are left untapped due to this limiting framework for education? What might we create if we see learning as an exploration that takes place anytime, anywhere, and with anyone? Explore these questions and more through the lens of “Open Way Learning.”
The Monk of Mokha
The stories we get to share about the power of learner-centered transformation often showcase young people who went from viewing life as limiting to discovering an abundance of opportunity. The Monk of Mokha fits that theme beautifully and on a remarkable scale. Discover how a young man at the age of 24 went from being a doorman in San Francisco to mapping back his ancestral roots and getting caught in a civil war in Yemen. Although a frightening course of events, the story shows how rich a life can be when it is led with a deep sense of purpose and passion, regardless of unanticipated dangers.
Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change
Shawn Rubin and Cathy Sanford
Education transformation is not a sprint to the finish. In fact, there is no “finish” at all. It’s a continuous journey of iteration and evolution. Celebrating the journey is at the core of Shawn Rubin and Cathy Sanford’s book, Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change. The authors, through their work in over 500 learning environments, have outlined a five-step framework that invites education leaders to identify the unique needs in their communities (rather than copy and paste efforts seen elsewhere), pilot new transformational ideas on a small scale, and spread the ideas that prove fruitful.
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