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.
Two Versions of one great book!
One of the first books I read during my masters program. This is another of what I call my “Mentor Texts”. It is a book that speak to the complexity of being a teacher, an activist, a community member, and all the roles in-between. William “Bill” Ayers writes with a heart and courage unmatched in most books written about education and schools. Plus he did a comic version of the book, so cool! I got to see Ayers talk in Eugene a few years back. He is radical, he is fiery, he is outspoken, but most of all he cares about teachers and children and education and he understands the power and role Public Schools hold in changing our world for the better! Another must read!
What ever you do. Get a hold of this book!
To Teach is the now-classic story of one teacher’s odyssey into the ethical and intellectual heart of teaching. For almost two decades, it has inspired teachers across the country to follow their own path, face their own challenges, and become the teachers they long to be. Since the second edition, there have been dramatic shifts to the educational landscape including the rise and fall of NCLB. This new Third Edition is essential reading amidst today’s public policy debates and school reform initiatives that stress the importance of ”good teaching.” To help bring this popular story to a new generation of teachers, Teachers College Press is publishing an exciting companion volume: To Teach: The Journey, in Comics. In this graphic novel, Ayers and talented young artist Ryan Alexander-Tanner bring the celebrated memoir to life. The Third Edition of To Teach, paired with the new graphic novel, offers a unique teaching and learning experience that broadens and deepens our understanding of what teaching can be. Together, these resources will capture the imaginations of pre- and in-service teachers who are ready to follow their own Yellow Brick Roads.
-Adventures in Learning
What is your favorite book to read to students?
Recommended by @unskoolery
"Michael," said Karl. "There’s a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth — and Stillwater the bear — present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.
I love this book. We read it to our kids also! Highly recommend! You can find it here
Notable Novels for Teens About the Arab World
By Elsa Marston
Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Where the Streets Had a Name (Scholastic 2010). Palestine, MG/YA. On a secret mission of mercy, a girl makes her way—strictly forbidden without permission from Israeli authorities—from her village into Jerusalem. [Also see this author’s books about Arab immigrants in Australia: Does My Head Look Big in This? andTen things I Hate About Me. Both have appealing teen voice.]
Al-Maria, Sophia. The Girl Who Fell to Earth (Harper Perennial 2012). Arabian Peninsula and Egypt, YA. The daughter of a mixed marriage spends time with her father’s family in a Gulf State, tries to reconcile her two radically different heritages.
Barakat, Ibtisam. Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood (Kroupa/Farrar Straus Giroux 2007). Palestine, MG/YA. Memoir of a young girl set in a time of war and displacement, but revealing solid family experience.
Carmi, Daniella. Samir and Yonatan (Levine/Scholastic 2000). Israel/Palestinians, MG/YA. A Palestinian boy being treated in an Israeli hospital relates to the children and medical staff.
Carter, Anne Laurel. The Shepherd’s Granddaughter (Groundwood 2008). Palestine, MG/YA. In a rural village under attack from a nearby Israeli settlement, a young teenaged girl starts to broaden her horizons.
Clinton, Cathryn. A Stone in My Hand (Candlewick 2002). Palestine, MG/YA. During an outbreak of violence, a young girl in Gaza copes with loss: her father’s death and her brother’s participation in the insurrection.
Laird, Elizabeth. A Little Piece of Ground (Haymarket 2006; originally Macmillan UK 2003). Palestine, MG/YA. A boy defies Israeli-imposed curfew in his efforts to claim a place to play soccer.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi (Simon & Schuster 1997). Palestine, MG/YA. An Arab-American girl visits her father’s natal village in Palestine, under occupation, and absorbs experiences both exhilarating and distressing.
Marsden, Carolyn. The White Zone (CarolRhoda 2012). Iraq, MG. Two boy cousins cope with the sectarian strife that separates them during the fighting in Baghdad.
Marston, Elsa. Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories About Teens in the Arab World (Indiana University Press 2008). Several countries, MG/YA. Young teens in eight contrasting Arab societies face universal challenges of adolescence; the most adult story in subject matter is “Honor” (Jordan).
Perera, Anna. The Glass Collector (Whitman 2011). Egypt, YA. Valuable chiefly because of its setting in the “trash-collectors community” in Cairo.
If going to college means getting a better job than the choice is not either be in debt or not. I willingly signed the papers to get the loan to go to college, because I had no other choice. Give me another way to pay for college and I would gladly do it. Make college affordable and I will not fight for more fairness. Make student loans repayable only when fully employed or based on only income above living wage…okay we got a deal. Say I signed the papers so I have to deal with the greed of banks and sallie mae and I will continue to fight for a better way to educated our young people and to deal with the ballooning debt!
a rant by Adventures in Learning
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
Joseph Boulogne loved music. The singing of the birds, the beat of drums, the peal of church bells—and most of all, the soaring notes of his violin. But as the son of a white plantation owner and a black slave, newly arrived in France from the West Indies, what chance did Joseph have for success with his music? Here is the true story of an extraordinary boy who overcame the prejudices of his peers to become one of the finest classical musicians in all of Europe.
This lushly illustrated book by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome introduces us to a talented musician and an overlooked figure in black history.
Wanted to share this book
Find it here
-Adventures in Learning
This is on my reading list for the summer! Jose Vilson is one of the best educators currently writing about education. His voice is so strong and pointed. This is an important work and worth sharing with your schools. I hope to read this as a school next year.
José Vilson writes about race, class, and education through stories from the classroom and researched essays. His rise from rookie math teacher to prominent teacher leader takes a twist when he takes on education reform through his now-blocked eponymous blog, TheJoseVilson.com. He calls for the reclaiming of the education profession while seeking social justice.
José Vilson is a middle school math educator for in the Inwood/Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. He writes for Edutopia, GOOD, and TransformED / Future of Teaching, and his work has appeared in Education Week, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and El Diario / La Prensa.
"Jose Vilson is a teacher of the highest order. Through the powerful narrative of his life both inside and outside of the classroom, Jose teaches us important lessons on every page of _This Is Not a Test_. Jose teaches us about the intersection of education, race, class and activism while calling all of us to do better - to be better - as we strive along with him to be the educators all our children need us to be. This book is a must read for educators, soon-to-be educators, parents, students and anyone who cares about education and the children of this country."
—Chris Lehmann - Founding Principal, Science Leadership Academy