Friday, October 22, 2010

Gary Stager's "Must Read" List for School "Reform"

The esteemed Gary Stager, educational change advocate and a strong voice in the edublogosphere, last week posted a piece--on the new Huffington Post Education tab--which he, with characteristic aplomb, entitled, "Wanna be an School Reformer? You Better do your Homework!" I heartily encourage you to begin yours with a visit to that post and a thorough reading of Gary's careful and knowledgeable descriptions of the 18 books on his (though "admittedly subjective") list of essential required readings. I took a few minutes at the start of my work day to cull out just the titles with Gary's links to the books themselves, but only because I want a concise assignment sheet for myself in order to search my local public library (that "teacher's salary" issue ;).

[Posted later, a pic of my growing collection from the public library, shared with my colleagues at my cubby]:
Steve Hargadon, through whose Facebook post I became aware of Gary's article, suggests that "we need to do a book study of these." I concur. As I say, please do read the original post, but if you need the cheat sheet I submit it here, along with Gary's comment preceding his must-read list:

"The following books are appropriate for parents, teachers, administrators, politicians and plain old citizens committed to the ideal of sustaining a joyful, excellent and democratic public education for every child."
A Schoolmaster of the Great City: A Progressive Education Pioneer's Vision for Urban Schools, Angelo Patri

Dr. Seymour Sarason, The Skeptical Visionary: A Seymour Sarason Reader, The Predictable Failure of Educational Reform: Can We Change Course Before It's Too Late, And What do YOU Mean by Learning, Political Leadership and Educational Failure and Charter Schools: Another Flawed Educational Reform?

Seymour Papert, The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer

The Big Picture: Education Is Everyone's Business by Dennis Littky and Littky's biography, Doc: The Story Of Dennis Littky And His Fight For A Better School, by Susan Kammeraad-Campbell

Deborah Meier, In Schools We Trust: Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization

The Schools our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and "Tougher Standards" and The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools by Alfie Kohn

Dr. Theodore Sizer, Horace's Compromise

Jonathan Kozol, Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope

Herbert Kohl, The Herb Kohl Reader: Awakening the Heart of Teaching

Susan Ohanian and Kathy Emery, Why is Corporate America Bashing Our Public Schools?

Gerald Bracey published, Education Hell: Rhetoric vs. Reality - Transforming the Fire Consuming America's Schools

Not With Our Kids You Don't! Ten Strategies to Save Our Schools by Juanita Doyon

Go for it! And let me know when you're ready to have that book study group!

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