March 2020 Bookshelf
Books 12 March 2020
The Power of Place: Authentic Learning Through Place-Based Education
Tom Vander Ark, Emily Leibtag, and Nate McClennen
Imagine if everywhere you walked, swam, ran, drove, flew, or jet-packed to—and every place in between—was seen as a place for learning. How might you view the world differently? How might future generations relate to the world differently? In The Power of Place, the authors (check out our interview with them here) showcase how place-based learning can develop student agency, provide truly equitable education, and maximize the potential of all the gifts a community brings to the table. And, just as importantly, they prove how financial and geographical resources are not a barrier to the possibilities place-based learning provides young people in every community.
Unleashing Your Innovative Genius: High School Redesigned
There are troves of education books written every year targeted at educators. Whether they focus on leadership development, the next “thing” you must implement in your classroom, or how to crack the code of a child’s brain, the market is swimming in redundancy. Deborah Olatunji, author of Unleashing Your Innovative Genius, noticed this reality while writing her own book (check out our interview with the author). She wondered, “Why isn’t anyone targeting the learners themselves?” Her second-person approach invites high school-aged learners to read from an author who “gets it,” and who wants them to “do away with busy work, discover your brand and find value in deep learning, and dive into the unfailing power of student agency and creation of hands-on approaches to education.”
We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
Can a person of color engage with their ancestors’ full history—the trauma and the triumph—in a conventional school setting? Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do More Than Survive, would unabashedly say, “no.” Driven by her experience as an educator and researcher in urban settings, Love focuses her book on the importance of presenting young people with the harsh realities of “racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements.” If you believe the system needs to be transformed, this book is for you.
For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey
In 2013, Richard Blanco found himself in a wildly unexpected position—reading his poetry on stage at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. As a gay, Latino immigrant, Blanco saw an opportunity through All of Us, One Today to share his story leading up to and the newfound leadership role he felt obligated to take on after his moment in front of the nation. This book is not only a powerful read for educators but also doubles as an invitation for young people who identify with Blanco’s backgrounds to see just how far they can go in life—be it next to the President reading poetry or perhaps becoming the President themselves.
Driven by Difference: How Great Companies Fuel Innovation Through Diversity
Diversity for the sake of diversity is a terrible game to play. The gifts everyone brings to the table are muted by single-mindedness, tokenism, and other dangerous mindsets. David Livermore, author of Driven by Difference, has seen this side of diversity initiatives. But, he has also seen how companies that aim to diversify their teams because they believe it will take their work to new, unexpected, and inventive places excel as a result. To maximize the potential of your team, check out Livermore’s book on how to create the space for everyone’s knowledge, skills, and unique contexts to shine bright and take your work to new heights.
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