Editor’s Note: It’s summertime, and for some reason, we’re all expected to catch up on our reading during this three-month respite from school. And, as you well know, there’s a big difference between required reading and recommended reading. Thus, we offer a second installment of what our staff members present for your personal time perusal. What we’ve done here is outline our educators’ thought process as to why they selected a particular read, along with an image of the book cover, and a link (click the book cover to activate the link) to Amazon so you can purchase the selection if you wish, or download it to your laptop or tablet.
Beyond Learning By Doing: Theoretical Currents in Experiential Education — By Jay W. Roberts
Recommended by Jesse Beightol, Eagle Rock’s Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist
This book gave me a deeper understanding of the historical roots of Experiential Education. Though many educators value “experience,” experiential education is difficult to define and truly understand. This book looks at the many facets of this approach to education, and then challenges educators to learn from the past in order to continually improve in the future.
Science As Thinking: The Constants and Variables of Inquiry Teaching — By Wendy Ward Hoffer
Recommended by Janet Johnson, Eagle Rock’s Science Instructional Specialist
This book is based on backwards planning — and so it follows the model we use here at Eagle Rock — but it focuses specifically on scientific thinking and how inquiry looks as a scientist. What does “thinking like a scientist” mean? How do we capture that thinking in student work? How can we merge that with other strategies that we learn and apply it to science? For example, the practice of “mind mapping” exists across several disciplines, but this book applies it directly to science.
Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius — By Michael Michalko
Recommended by Cindy Elkins, Eagle Rock’s Visual Art Instructional Specialist
This book examines the creative thinking processes used by many of the most famous creative people that ever lived. Michalko identifies their creative thinking techniques and shares exercises that can be used by those ambitious enough to try them. He examines creative thinking strategies and gives instructions as to how to do them.
White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son — By Tim Wise
Recommended by Beth Ellis, Eagle Rock’s Learning Resource Center Instructional Specialist
Much of the work I do at Eagle Rock is about relationships — understanding who I am and how to make meaningful connections with students and staff. The work is really about examining big questions — how does race affect me personally and Eagle Rock as a community? What privileges do I have? What privileges do students have? How do I make sense of things in my life that I don’t control? How do we talk honestly about race? I suggest this book as a starting point for any person that identifies as white to think more deeply about race and privilege in the U.S. The book chronicles the author’s life as a white man as he understands the privilege afforded to him based on the color of his skin.
Readers: Do you have a favorite education-related title that you’d like to recommend to our community? If so, tell us about it in the Comments section below.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. A book about reciprocity, about the connections between traditional knowledge and university knowledge, a different way of looking at knowing and being citizens of the world, and our intricate and beautiful connectedness to the plant world. The subtitle is Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Dr. Kimmerer is a botanist at Syracuse University, and a First Nations person.