Or have students read?
A blog about Learning, about Education, about transformation, about change, about youth voice, about democratic human centered education. I am trying to ask the question "Why we educate" and what my answer means to me as a teacher and how my role shapes society and the whole.
Adventures in Learning Asked:
What is your favorite book to read to students?
Or have students read?
@obertogreco answered: Two books: The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, by George Saunders and Some of the Kinder Planets, by Time Wynne-Jones
Three families live in the seaside village of Frip — the Romos, the Ronsens, and a little girl named Capable and her widowed father. The townspeople of Frip make their living raising goats, but they must fight off a daily invasion of gappers, bright orange, many-eyed creatures that cover goats and stop them from giving milk. When the gappers target Capable’s goats, the Romos and the Ronsens turn their backs on the gapper-ridden Capable. What will Capable do about her gapper plague? An imaginative tale by acclaimed author George Saunders accented with haunting illustrations by award-winning illustrator Lane Smith, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is an adult story for children, a children’s story for adults, an oceanside fable for the landlocked, a fish story for loaves, and a fable about the true meaning of community.
Note from Adventures in Learning: This one really excites me, not sure how I didn’t know about this one! I’m going to pick this up to use in my acting camp this summer. Stories like this work perfectly to inspire improv and acting with my students! Excited! You can get it here also.
This collection of nine short stories offers offbeat vignettes of contemporary life as well as tales of ghosts, aliens, and historical figures. Clear writing combines with clever concepts and varied subject matter to make the book accessible and enjoyable to a wide audience. Male and female characters of all ages are convincing and well rounded, an especially impressive achievement given the brevity of the pieces. While not all of them are intended to be funny, Wynne-Jones has a light touch that serves him well whether his topic is serious or humorous. Also, a certain ambiguity is often present, and the stories offer tantalizing glimpses of complex worlds. This sophisticated presentation of both everyday experiences (such as a not-so-successful science project) and unusual situations (the aftermath of a train accident) creates a uniquely appealing whole.
Note from Adventures in Learning: Another book new to me! This is why I love crowdsourcing book recommendations, so many new books to be found! Keep them coming!
Or have students read?
I asked my tumblr followers:
here are zwelinzima answers:
In no order,
1.) The Book of Learning and Forgetting, by Frank Smith, discusses social relevance and control
In this thought-provoking book, Frank Smith explains how schools and educational authorities systematically obstruct the powerful inherent learning abilities of children, creating handicaps that often persist through life. The author eloquently contrasts a false and fabricated “official theory” that learning is work (used to justify the external control of teachers and students through excessive regulation and massive testing) with a correct but officially suppressed “classic view” that learning is a social process that can occur naturally and continually through collaborative activities. This book will be crucial reading in a time when national authorities continue to blame teachers and students for alleged failures in education. It will help educators and parents to combat sterile attitudes toward teaching and learning and prevent current practices from doing further harm.
2.) Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, speaks, again—directly and eloquently—on liberating young minds (here is my recommendation again)
“There is no way to help a learner to be disciplined, active, and thoroughly engaged unless he perceives a problem to be a problem or whatever is to-be-learned as worth learning, and unless he plays an active role in determining the process of solution.”
― Neil Postman, Teaching as a Subversive Activity
3.) Walking on Water, by Derrick Jensen, has just awesome stories with terrific lessons about asking questions (Note: I also recommend this book highly)
Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. This time Derrick Jensen brings us into his classroom—whether college or maximum security prison—where he teaches writing. He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers. As a writing teacher Jensen guides his students out of the confines of traditional education to find their own voices, freedom, and creativity.
What book should every Teacher read?
A “vivid, unpredictable, fair, balanced and … very entertaining” look at how education reforms have changed one typical American elementary school over the course of a year (Jay Mathews, The Washington Post)
The pressure is on at schools across America. In recent years, reforms such as No Child Left Behind have created a new vision of education that emphasizes provable results, uniformity, and greater attention for floundering students. Schools are expected to behave more like businesses and are judged almost solely on the bottom line: test scores.
To see if this world is producing better students, Linda Perlstein immersed herself in a suburban Maryland elementary school, once deemed a failure, that is now held up as an example of reform done right. Perlstein explores the rewards and costs of that transformation, and the resulting portrait—detailed, human, and truly thought-provoking—provides the first detailed view of how new education policies are modified by human realities.
Have not read this one, but adding it to my summer reading list. Love books that showcase a year in the life of schools.
-Adventures in Learning