January 2017 Bookshelf
Books 05 January 2017
Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century
Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath
A key difference between a learner who decides to stick it out versus one who decides to drop out is usually circumstance, not irresponsibility. Understanding this reality, Monica Martinez and Dennis McGrath searched far and wide for learning environments that engage learners on a deep level, reinvigorating the joys of learning in all their kids. In Deeper Learning, you will discover eight environments that blew the authors away and gave them rejuvenated hope in the possibility of a truly transformational shift in education.
Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life
Emotions, much like the human body or the shape of today’s continents, have manifested from millions of years of evolutionary events. So, when we look at Darwin, how do feelings of compassion and gratitude fit the “survival of the fittest” ideology? In Dacher Keltner’s Born to be Good, you are invited to explore an often-untold narrative about Darwin and his belief that living things don’t simply exist to live “nasty, brutish, and short” lives. Rather, positive and empathetic feelings exist because they too were selected as more favorable characteristics in the evolutionary process. Dive into how these emotions positively affect our well-beings, and see how you might apply them to your daily actions.
Campfires in Cyberspace
Have you ever had one of those moments where you discovered a new way of performing an old task that makes your life infinitely easier? Were you instantly struck by how long you went without this wonderful insight? A similar sentiment can be given to our use of the internet. In Campfires in Cyberspace, David Thornburg presents thought-provoking ideas on how to take advantage of the virtually limitless tools and knowledge the internet provides, so you can effectively expand the learning opportunities for your learners.
There are many instances where we must view complex, yet solvable, problems from a different angle. A first step in doing so might reside in the very way we access the information available to us. Commonly, the only medium through which we learn about the world is through printed words. Nick Sousanis challenges this notion in his work, Unflattening, which gained notoriety as the first-ever dissertation presented entirely in comic book format. By combining imagery with words, Sousanis believes we can gain a far deeper understanding about the complex problems we face. Examine his arguments for yourself and see how you might apply it to your daily work.
Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
There is an undeniable aura around the untethered creativity children possess. Through playful imagination, their novel way of navigating the world is exactly how many of the world’s most treasured innovations come to life. This idea of play and its historical significance inspired Steven Johnson to explore how the amusement-seekers among us discovered and invented once unthinkable products to share with the world. Discover these stories in Wonderland and imagine how you might integrate similar “child-like” behavior in your transformational work.
Think Again: A Philosophical Approach to Teaching
John L. Taylor
Developing a fruitful habit of inquiry allows learners to find endless opportunities to accumulate knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they journey along their unique life paths. With that being said, how might we ensure this art of questioning is developed? John L. Taylor, professor of philosophy in the United Kingdom, believes an understanding of philosophical thinking will put educators on the fast track to guiding their learners to a “why” mindset. Taylor’s book, Think Again, challenges educators to reimagine their current practices in developing critical thinking and explore the ideas philosophers have been sharing with us for years.
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