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9 new books educators need to know about

Online learning, entrepreneurship, Common Core standards, market-based reform—these issues have weighed heavily on the education sector in recent years. With so many factors working to change the face of education as we know it, isn't it time you got caught up?

A number of authors tackle the aforementioned issues and more in a number of new and upcoming books, laying out the necessary details in one place, often providing supplemental research and other materials to back up their words. There's something for educators at all levels here, so what are you waiting for? Head to your local bookseller or power up your preferred device and dive on in. You'll be better off for it.

 

REIGN OF ERROR
Author: Diane Ravitch
​Release Date: Available now
​Price: $17.60 (Hardcover)

In "Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools," New York University education professor Diane Ravitch makes her case that America's public schools are better than they've ever been. Though Ravitch—who served as a top education official under President George H.W. Bush—once championed charter schools and standardized testing, she is now one of the education reform movement's sharpest critics, openly calling charters "scams" and criticizing the overuse of standardized testing and teacher evaluations. Most importantly, though, she acknowledges the true root of failing schools: Poverty and segregation. 

 

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL ADVANTAGE
Authors: Christopher A. Lubienski and Sarah Theule Lubienski
​Release Date: Available now
​Price: $13.77 (Paperback)

Another book questioning the motives of the corporate-driven, "The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools" draws on data from two massive, recently-compiled national databases to paint a picture contradicting the idea that private, market-based models drive better results than public institutions. It ultimately all comes down to a matter of demographics, as the Lubienskis find that private schools drive better results because of their largely more affluent student populations—which, naturally, have more time and resources available.

 

FROM THE CAMPFIRE TO THE HOLODECK
Author: David Thornburg
​Release Date: Available now
​Price: $21.64 (Hardcover)

With "From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powerful 21st Century Learning Environments," award-winning futurist and educational consultant David Thornburg sets out to provide schools with a guidebook for transitioning from traditional classrooms and lecture halls to the immersive, student-centered, technologically driven learning experience of tomorrow. That's where the title comes in, if you haven't picked up on it yet, as it takes teachers from being the "sage on the stage" dictating everything to students to being the "guide at the side," facilitating the experience.

 

BETTER LEARNING THROUGH STRUCTURED TEACHING
Authors:
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Release Date: Dec. 6, 2013
Price: $21.52 (Paperback)

Not an entirely new book but a second edition, the updated "Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility" provides even deeper insight on how to transform students into disciplined, self-directed learners. At the center of the book's philosophy are four instructional phases to incorporate into lesson plans: focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning and independent learning. The book contains real-world examples, including those that align to the Common Core standards.

 

CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Authors:
Daniel P. Barbezat and Mirabai Bush
Release Date: Dec. 4, 2013
Price: $36.10 (Paperback)

Two of the foremost experts on the practice of contemplative pedagogy, Daniel P. Barbezat and Mirabai Bush, present information and ideas for its implementation in a variety of disciplines, ranging from the physical sciences to the arts. The goal of these practices—which include contemplative reading and writing, site visits and field trips, and even meditation and yoga—is to empower students to include their own experiences in learning, develop stronger problem-solving skills, enhance their compassion for others and provoke them to investigate their deepest questions. "Contemplative Practices in Higher Education" is meant to serve as a blueprint for just what its subtitle describes: a powerful transformation of teaching and learning.

 

7 STEPS TO EFFECTIVE ONLINE TEACHING
Author:
Diane K. Kovacs
Release Date: Dec. 15, 2013
Price: $57.00 (Paperback)

Perhaps the simplest title of any book on this list, Diane Kovacs' "7 Steps to Effective Online Teaching" details not only the steps to creating effective online instruction, but goes lays out the theories and research supporting each one. Kovacs has almost a decade of experience teaching online for library schools at the University of Illinois and San Jose State University. Aside from the step-by-step guidelines, the book also includes reviews of instructional tools and case studies from working librarians and trainers.

 

THE COMMON CORE, AN UNCOMMON OPPORTUNITY: REDESIGNING CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION
Authors:
Judith K. March and Karen H. Peters
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2013
Price: $30.00 (Paperback)

The roll-out of Common Core standards haven't been without their share of controversies. Aside from opposition from those wary of a national set of standards, poor initial test scores in New York put a bad taste in the mouths of many and reports have circulated suggesting that perhaps teachers in several states weren't given enough time to prepare before being required to teach to the standards. In their new book, Judith K. March and Karen H. Peters don't just break down the standards—they lay out the guide, with curriculum maps, for implementing both the Common Core and 21st Century skills into America's K-12 education system. 

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAMS AND THE MODERN UNIVERSITY
Authors:
Michael H. Morris, Donald F. Kuratko and Jeffrey R. Cornwall
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2013
Price: $118.75 (Hardcover)

In "Entrepreneurship Programs and the Modern University," Morris, Kuratko and Cornwall examine the roots and development of entrepreneurship in modern colleges and universities. Part of this includes a look at what exactly makes a great entrepreneurship program. As one would expect, the book lays out best practices at some of the universities providing top entrepreneurship programs, as well as the differing environments and organizational structures in which these programs operate. 

 

THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD: AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY
Author:
Amanda Ripley
Release Date: Available now
Price: $19.75 (Hardcover)

Investigative journalist Amanda Ripley's work has appeared in Time and The Atlantic, helping the former win two National Magazine Awards, and in her latest book, she uses those skills to uncover how other countries are managing to produce the "smartest" kids in the world. The book follows three American students as they spend a year in Finland, South Korea and Poland, respectively. What Ripley learns through these three students provides vital insight into learning in other cultures and what those nations changed to produce top students.

 

 


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Filed Under: Higher Ed K12 Technology Policy & Regulation Online Learning