March 2021 Bookshelf
Books 11 March 2021
GLORY: Magical Visions of Black Beauty
Kahran Bethencourt, Regis Bethencourt, and Amanda Seales
How do we build a world where every child feels valued, seen, and celebrated? We can begin by shattering conventional standards of representation that are often tokenizing or made to fit the comfort levels of a predominately White audience. Husband and wife duo Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, in partnership with Amanda Seales, aim to achieve this in GLORY, a powerful collection of stunning photos and illustrative essays about Black children and Black beauty. The underlying message is that to reclaim one’s power, one must reclaim their identity and agency. This is a remarkable resource for any educator passionate about liberating young people to feel loved and empowered to recognize and embrace their potential.
When You Wonder, You’re Learning: Mister Rogers' Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kids
Gregg Behr, Ryan Rydzewski, and Joanne Rogers
Mr. Rogers, one of the most beloved figures in American television history, inspired children, families, and communities with his enduring message of hope, love, and kindness—for ourselves and others. These lessons are as relevant today as they were in 1968 when his iconic television show premiered. Authors Gregg Behr, Ryan Rydzewski, and Joanne Rogers bottle up some of this magic into When You Wonder, You’re Learning, a manual for introducing an entire generation of kids to Mr. Rogers’ teachings. The book is “playful and practical, imaginative and instructive,” and aims to equip children with the transformative learning tools of curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and much more.
The Sum of Us
Realizing a transformed, learner-centered future for education requires breaking down barriers that block us from seeing all the possibilities this future can provide. One of those barriers, to put it plainly, is racism. The insidious complexity of racism has traumatized every generation alive today, plagued our ability to find common ground, and impeded our ability to recognize the interconnectedness of our fates. In The Sum of US, Heather McGhee travels from California to Mississippi to Maine to uncover the economic, social, emotional, and political price we’ve all paid by allowing racism to persist. It signals the urgency of moving beyond a society of “have and have-nots” to one that relies on unity to overcome our greatest challenges and realize the future we collectively desire.
Learner-Centered Leadership: A Blueprint for Transformational Change in Learning Communities
In Learner-Centered Leadership, Devin Vodicka helps demystify the foundational elements of learner-centered education, which he believes should be “oriented around the strengths, interests, and needs of individual learners.” Drawing from his own experience leading a school district through educational transformation, Vodicka implores that leaders in this “new world” see learners, not content or curriculum, as the prevailing constant, and learning communities as bastions for the “intellectual and social development of lifelong-learners.” This is a “must-have” resource for leaders and educators doing the work of catalyzing a new future of education.
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
Matthew B. Crawford
Powerful learning transcends the basic acquisition of knowledge. It requires young people to develop understanding within personalized, relevant, and contextualized learning experiences. And, if Matthew Crawford has any say, it will often require getting our hands dirty. In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Crawford argues against the dominant belief that the purpose of education is to cultivate “knowledge workers,” which “separates thinking from doing.” Crawford, sourcing from his experience as a mechanic and electrician, conveys the virtues and practicality of skilled manual labor, and its capacity to build more self-reliant people who are both doers and thinkers. It’s also a great tool for helping young people explore the variety of professional paths available to them—eliminating the “college is the only option” thinking perpetuated by the conventional system.
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