Continuing Professional Development as a teacher is crucial to being the best educator that you can be. But this learning doesn’t all have to be official in-school training. Below we take a look at 6 books that every teacher should read.
Teach Like a Champion 2.0 by Doug Lemov
Doug Lemov’s work and methods are a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. However, schools that use his techniques swear by them which makes this book a must-read just to see what his methods and theories are. Lemov approached teaching in a systematic and logical way, observing what great teachers do and then working out what they all had in common and trying to build on this.
More info on ‘Teach Like a Champion 2.0’ by Doug Lemov
The Tail: how England’s schools fail one child in five – and what can be done edited by Paul Marshall
This book focusses on those children who leave schools without the basic literacy and numeracy skills and puts teachers right at the heart of the challenge to improving outcomes for these children.
More info on ‘The Tail: how England’s schools fail one child in five – and what can be done’ edited by Paul Marshall
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
Mark Haddon’s wonderful novel was hugely popular when it was released and if you haven’t read it, you really should. As Haddon himself said: [It is] not a book about Asperger’s…if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.’ It’s a wonderful way of gaining an insight into your student’s perspectives on the world.
More info on ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night’
Why Don’t Students Like School: a cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom by Daniel Willingham
This is a fantastic book in which Willingham argues that we expect a lot from our students in terms of knowledge and skills but don’t do enough to give them the tools to develop them. Looking at issues such as working memory, this book has revolutionised many a teacher’s view on the classroom.
More info on ‘Why Don’t Students Like School: a cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom’ by Daniel Willingham
Switch: how to change things when change is hard by Chip and Dan Heath
We’ve all heard about the importance of teachers ‘sharing good practice’ haven’t we? This book cleverly challenges this notion saying that most teachers already have more than enough good ideas than they could use in a lifetime. It argues what should be done is more time should be invested in putting them into practice rather than just ‘sharing’.
More info on ‘Switch: how to change things when change is hard’ by Chip and Dan Heath
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr Robert Cialdini
Cialdini’s book may not be specifically about teaching but the information and techniques that it contains can be of huge value. Cialdini’s theory of influence is based on the principles of reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity and if put into practice in the classroom could see some very interesting results.
More info on ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ by Dr Robert Cialdini
What books you would recommend that all teachers should read? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.