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Summer Book List


Drive by Daniel Pink

Students are being prepared for an entirely different world from that of our parents. No longer do we need consistent, compliant assembly line workers. The workforce of tomorrow requires problem solvers and creative thinkers. There will be literally no use for menial jobs that only follow orders because those jobs can be automated. So how do we promote the motivation and creativity required for people to push boundaries and develop the internal drive to seek novel solutions to difficult challenges? Daniel Pink will change the way you view classroom management and the role of “points” in your gradebook.


This one shattered my paradigm. I changed my grading practices based on this book. Impact factor? 5/5

Mindset by Carol Dweck

People are different from machines in their ability to grow. An iPod made 10 years ago is obsolete, and there is nothing it can do to make itself relevant again. A doctor who graduated medical school 10 years ago has seen most of her training become obsolete. But she has continued training and learning and is now a leader in her field. A students’ view of their own ability to learn and develop has a tremendous impact on how they benefit from learning experiences. Learning more about the role of mindset on learning allows one to foster desirable mindsets in students.


This book improved my ability to frame class work and student struggles in a productive and attitude-changing way. Impact factor? 4/5

Make It Stick by Peter Brown

The best educators synthesize current psychological and pedagogical research to continue refining their teaching practices to match empirical and clinical research. Brown has worked to compile many different areas of research into a single book that focuses on application. Learning styles, recall practice, schema-building practices, application and active learning are just some of topics covered. The text is woven together with examples and stories to produce an easy and entertaining read. Some of the content may be familiar to veteran teachers, but there is so much contained that everyone will find something new to implement.

Make It Stick

This book is the best compilation of so many best practices all in one place. Highly actionable. Impact factor? 5/5

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Cognition is a tricky and nuanced subject. There are many cognitive errors and logical fallacies present in the way we think, remember and decide. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman presents the state of his field in a detailed and comprehensive way so that even a novice to the field can understand the majority of the work. The writing is personal and filled with stories of his work, examples from his life and even admissions of ignorance or bias when appropriate. The book is a fascinating read that will illuminate the need for deliberate metacognition throughout the scientific process.

Thinking Fast and Slow

This book is a personal interest of mine and useful in planning for misconceptions during student learning. Impact factor? 3/5

The Drunkard’s Walk by Leonard Mlodinow

Human beings have been shaped by thousands of years to seek stories, patterns and meaning in their world. Mythologies and legends are born of the many surprising and difficult to explain phenomena in our lives. Scientists must content with this potent desire as we try to describe the signal from the noise. This book can be discouraging to some as it reveals just how much randomness impacts our lives and diminishes our perception of control in some areas of daily life. With knowledge comes the power to discern real patterns that are not always obvious.

Drunkard's Walk

This one is critical for understanding the importance of strong experimental design and proper error analysis. Impact factor? 4/5


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