digitaldapp.org || reading
books and papers.
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These works are listed in no particular order (well, actually, they're alphabetical). Linked titles connect to reviews written by me. I consider these to be worthy, meaningful, or interesting for any educator.
Papers and Articles
- Cobb, C. & Fetteroff, M. (2010). The joy of chemistry. Amherst: Prometheus Books.A comparatively non-technical layman's guide to all of the major topics in general chemistry and a few in organic and physical chemistry. Each chapter includes excellent connections to real-world (and frequently everyday) phenomena, and at least one kitchen-table experiment that can be performed safely by even the non-chemist.
- Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2008). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.In this groundbreaking book, renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi details the state of "deep enjoyment" and "total involvement" that accompanies participation in those activities that give us the greatest pleasure. A bit dense but an absolute must-read for anyone with a real passion in life.
- Collins, J. (2005). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap... and others don't. New York: Harper Business.Jim Collins discusses, through an analysis of several companies, why some become truly great and some just founder in mediocrity. Although written primarily for the business world, the author offers several tips for application of his ideas in the social sectors. Regardless, many of his points are critical reading for the leaders of any institution.
- Dweck,C. (2006). Mindset: the new psychology of success. New York: Ballentine Books.
- Evans, R. (1996). The human side of school change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Fisher, R & Ury, W. (1991) Getting to yes. New York, NY: Penguin.
- Gladwell, M. (2005). Blink: The power of thinking without thinking. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.In this book, Gladwell discusses in detail the uncannily accurate information that people glean from "first impressions," a technique he refers to as "thin-slicing" - that is, breaking down experiences to tiny increments of time, and taking advantage of the "gut feelings" that we frequently have during first encounters. A bit long-winded, but a worthy read.
- Gladwell, M. (2005). The tipping point. New York, NY: Brown and Company.In this book, the author explores the phenomenon of small behavioral changes in small groups of people leading ultimately to major upsets in social and economic trends. This is one of those books that's hard to describe, but hugely influential and interesting. Highly recommended.
- Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers. New York, NY: Brown and Company.Gladwell discusses the secret patterns - that is, statistical anomalies - behind everyday phenomena. Why are most professional hockey players born in January? Why were Beatles so successful at such a young age? Why was Bill Gates a computer super-genius in an age of computer super-geniuses? Gladwell approaches all of these questions and more in a uniquely interesting way. Once again, a little long-winded, but a great read.
- Heath, C. & Heath, D. (2007) Made to stick: Why some ideas survive and others die. New York: Random House.This one is perhaps one of my favorites in this list. The Heath brothers frame this entire book around the old urban legend of a man drugged in a bar and having his kidneys stolen by organ-thieves. Why his this urban legend so memorable? And why could you read the instruction manual for a new television and forget the beginning before you get to the end? The Heath brothers discuss six characteristics that make ideas memorable. Teachers - read this! Leaders - read this! Everybody - read this!
- Johnson, S. (2006). Everything bad is good for you: how today's popular culture is actually making us smarter. New York: Riverhead Trade.Stephen Johnson argues that, contrary to popular belief, popular culture such as social networking, television, and internet are actually increasing the cognitive ability of today's youth. The book is divided into two parts - in the first, he offers his argument; in the second, his evidence. In my opinion, the argument is very strong; the evidence, well, not so much. Johnson leans heavily on IQ data, which a great deal of research shows is not strictly tied to intelligence of all kinds, so I'm not completely convinced based in his evidence (but I'm buying his argument). A worthy read - and would someone who reads it PLEASE contact me at and tell me what you think. I really need to hear someone else's opinion of this book...
- Kohn, A. (2000). The schools our children deserve: Moving beyond traditional classrooms and "tougher standards". New York: Mariner Books.
- Kohn, A. (2007). The homework myth: why our kids get too much of a bad thing. Cambridge: De Capo Press.
- Le Couteur, P. & Burreson, J. (2004) Napoleon's buttons: How 17 molecules changed history. New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher.
- Pink, D.H. (2005). A whole new mind: why right-brainers will rule the future. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.In this book, Daniel Pink describes how "left-brain" people (that is, math- or science-oriented thinkers) will be (and to some degree already are) in far less demand than they have been in the past, and "right-brainers" will be in greater demand instead. For example, Pink talks about how every smartphone does more or less the same thing - it's how sleek, how easy to use, and how pretty they are that sell them. It's an interesting read, and helps to shine a little light on the importance of liberal arts education.
- Sax, L. (2006). Why gender matters: What parents and teachers need to know about the emerging science of sex differences. New York: Broadway.
- Scott, S. (2002). Fierce conversations: achieving success at work in life, one conversation at a time. New York, NY: Berkley Publishing Group.
- Tough, P. (2012). How children succeed: Grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Willingham, D. (2009). Why don't students like school? A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what is means for the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Bell, R. L., Smetana, L., & Binns, I. (2005, October). Simplifying inquiry instruction. The Science Teacher, p. 30-33.
- Bodner, G. (1986). Constructivism: A theory of knowledge. Journal of Chemical Education, 63(10), 873-878.
- Chance, P. & Chance,E. (2002). Introduction to educational leadership and organizational behavior: Theory into practice. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education. 83-104.
- Darling-Hammond, L. (August/September 2007). The flat earth and education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future. Educational Researcher. 36(6), 319-334.
- DuFour, R. (May 2004). What is a professional learning community? Educational Leadership, 6-11.
- Ford, D., (2008). Student success the way they need it: Powerful school change. Phi Delta Kappan, 90(4), 281-284.
- Gardner, D., (March 2007). Confronting the achievement gap. Phi Delta Kappan, 88(7), 542-546.
- Goleman, D., & Boyatzis, R. (2008). Social intelligence and the biology of leadership. In Harvard Business Review, pp. 74-81.
- Harvey, J. B. (1974). The Abilene paradox: The management of agreement. Organizational Dynamics, 17, 17-48.
- Hyde, A. (2007) Mathematics and cognition. Educational Leadership, 65(3), 43-47.
- Jennings, J. & Corcoran, S. (May 2009) Beware of geeks bearing formulas… Phi Delta Kappan. 635-639.
- Lambert, L, (2003). Parents as leaders. In Leadership capacity for lasting school improvement. Alexandria VA: ASCD.
- Lannin, J. (2004) Developing mathematical power by explicit and recursive reasoning. Mathematics Teacher, 98(4), 216-223.
- Leinwand, S.& Ginsburg, A. (November, 2007). Learning from Singapore math. Educational Leadership. 32- 36.
- Levin, B. (1998). The educational requirement for democracy. Curriculum Inquiry. 57-79.
- Levin, M. (2000, October). Tenure as a tool for improving public education, PSBA Bulletin.
- Moore, J. (2003). Don’t make me think! I’m trying to teach: Designing web environment that enrich teachers’ work. In Gordon, D. (Ed). Better teaching and learning in the digital classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 65-77.
- Moore Johnson, S.& Donalson, M. (2006) The effects of collective bargaining on teacher quality. In Hannaway, J. & Rotherham, A. (eds). Collective bargaining in education, negotiating change in today’s schools. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
- Nicholson, N. (2003, January). How to motivate your problem people. Harvard Business Review, 57-65.
- Richhart, R. (1999). Building a curriculum around big ideas. Teaching Children Mathematics, 462-467.
- Schmoker, M. (2004, February). Tipping point: From reckless reform to substantive instructional improvement. Phi Delta Kappan, 424-432.
- Trefil, J. & O’Brien-Trefil, W. (2009, September). The science students need to know. Educational Leadership. Pages 28-33.