Reading List for the Revolutionary Teacher

Want start your personal learning and development? The following books tap into foundational truths that can be adapted for all types of educators and learning environments.

Every year, hundreds of books are written about education. Some focus on systems-level change, some present cutting-edge teachings tactics. Others are focused on new research in child psychology and sharing the findings of inspiring case-studies. As a busy educator or administrator, it can be hard to know which books to invest time and energy in. Ultimately, the desire to keep revolutionizing how we build transformative, nurturing schools and classrooms is all rooted in our relationship to others and ourselves. The following books tap into foundational truths that can be internalized and adapted for all types of educators in all kinds of learning environments.

The Social Neuroscience of Education

by Louis Cozolino

As a foundational text to FuelEd’s curriculum and approach to education reform, this book explains how the brain learns best throughout the lifespan, from our early schooling through late life. Positioning the brain as distinctly social, Louis Cozolino helps teachers make connections to neurobiological principles with the goal of creating classrooms that nurture healthy attachment patterns and resilient psyches. Cozolino investigates what good teachers do to stimulate minds and brains to learn, especially when they succeed with difficult or “unteachable” students.

Attachment In the Classroom

by Heather Geddes

Every day, teachers and other school staff have to deal with children who present challenging behavior during their learning process at school. This book combines the fundamental principles of attachment theory with teacher-based case studies and practical ‘how to’ interventions that respect the wholeness and complexity of the children educators serve.

Freedom to Learn

by Carl Rogers

This text championed a revolutionary approach to education that changed the way educators teach children. Carl Rogers advocates that true education is student-centered and not teacher centered. Instead of seeking to control or harness students’ energy and attention, Rogers presents a radical experiment where students are empowered and liberated in the classroom environment.

The Drama of the Gifted Child

by Alice Miller

In this provocative book, Miller examines the many amongst us who had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our caregivers' expectations and win their love. This book shows how this particular childhood pattern might be particularly common to those in the helping profession, including teachers. If you’re looking to dive into personal, self-awareness work, this book is a great place to start!

Trust in Schools

by Anthony Bryk & Barbara Schneider

This book is great for any educator who is looking to bring the power of relationships to the school-wide culture. The book came about based on the author’s findings that student achievement increases when trusting relationships exist between the key players in a school. Instead of just examining the student-teacher relationship, Trust in Schools highlights the necessity of developing healthy adult relationships amongst all stakeholders.

Find a colleague or friend to explore one of these incredible books and share the incredible revelations you have to nurture your classroom and your school!

About the author

Jasmine Barnes

Partner - Chicago IL

Jasmine studied sociology and journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and has experience in community organizing, event planning, multimedia and group facilitation. She is a passionate storyteller and strategic innovator. Written and verbal communication, collaborative problem solving and operational excellence fuel her desire to create a more just and equitable world where underserved and underrepresented populations have access to resources and holistic education.

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