My Summer Reading List

In the name of work-life balance, my family makes a concerted effort to take at least one long vacation every summer.  We’re taking a cruise to Bermuda this year, so these are the books (the ed-related ones, anyway) that will be stowing away on my Kindle:

This is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, by José Vilson: Unlike Morrissey, I love it when my friends become successful.  I’m proud to say I’ve known José for years through blogging, Twitter, and later Facebook (and he even dropped in on my session at Educon 2.3 back in 2011), and I’m really looking forward to reading his newly-released book.  Although I don’t write much about it here, awareness of the impact of race and class on education (particularly in terms of inequalities) has long influenced how I approach my profession, and any discussion of education that downplays or dismisses the impact of either factor is ignorant at best and disingenuous at worst.

Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading, and What You Can Do About It, by Kelly Gallagher: I’m certain I have been guilty of committing mass acts of readicide during my eight years as a high school English teacher.  That time in my life has long since passed, but perhaps I can make amends by guiding future curricular decisions and policy.

Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager: Making it to Stager’s Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute has been on my to-do list – but not in my budget – for years now.  I’m hoping to make it there next summer, but for now I’ll have to settle for reading about how to implement active learning and creating maker-centric environments.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire: A classic with which I am generally familiar but still haven’t read yet.  I feel like saying, “I haven’t read Pedagogy of the Oppressed” is akin to saying something like, “I’ve never seen Star Wars” or “The Beatles?  Never heard of ‘em”, so I plan to rectify that this summer. What’s on your summer reading list this year?

7 comments

  1. Ann Oroann

    Nice to have “free time” reading? I am finishing up Understanding by Design and starting Eric Sheninger’s Digital Leadership. I want to read Linchpin which I started but never finished. I want to re-read Made to Stick. I just finished Scaling Up Excellence and I highly recommend it. I really should read Invent to Learn – thanks for reminding me about it.

  2. damian

    Yes, I bet I read more between June and August than I do from Sept to June. :-) Linchpin looks interesting, and I’ll have to check out Eric’s book as well. Maybe once I’m done this dissertation I’ll be able to sneak in a little more pleasure reading during the school year…

  3. damian

    @Jess – We’ll definitely touch base about it later this summer or early next school year. It’s probably second or third in my queue at the moment, and I’m still working my way through danah boyd’s “It’s Complicated” in tiny bits and pieces as I work on dissertation data collection.

  4. damian

    Update: So José told me this morning on Facebook that I’m actually mentioned in This Is Not a Test. Sure enough, I fired up my Kindle and searched my name and there I am. So cool and so honored! Thanks, José.

  5. Erica R.

    Loved Readicide! It was recommended by an instructor in my School Leadership program. It was a quick, thoughtful read.

    • Damian

      @Erica it’s been on my list for years, but I’m making it a priority to read this summer. Kelly Gallagher ran a workshop near me a few weeks ago but I wasn’t able to make it; hopefully he’ll be back soon

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