Summer Reading List for Teachers

summer reading

Let’s face it: summer is too short. And you already have a massive pile of books that you want to read, not to mention the ones you “need” to read. So we won’t pile on too much. Below are our top five summer picks for educators, selected by two Jossey-Bass authors. Enjoy, and let us know if you have recommendations of your own!


From Dan Willingham:

Dr. Willingham is the author of Why Don’t Students Like School?, When Can You Trust the Experts?, and the forthcoming Raising Kids Who Read (March 2015).

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning
by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III & Mark A. McDaniel

Two top memory researchers team up with a novelist and produce a fascinating book that brings you up to date on the latest research on memory.

Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn
by John Hattie and Gregory Yates

Many educators know John Hattie’s work that brings together huge numbers of research studies in an effort to produce reliable conclusions. Here he collaborates with cognitive psychologist Greg Yates to put more context on these findings and further elaborate on their classroom implications.

Thinking, Fast & Slow
by Daniel Kahneman

A huge best-seller, and with good reason. Not just a summary of cognitive distortions and illusions (Kahneman won the Nobel prize in Economics for his ground-breaking work in this area) but a framework for understanding how we think.

From Sarah Tantillo:

Sarah Tantillo, Ed.D., is the author of The Literacy Cookbook and the just-released Literacy and the Common Core.

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science
by Atul Gawande

Complications, which was a National Book Award Finalist, tells Atul Gawande’s true stories of learning how to be a surgeon.  But more importantly, it’s about an incredibly reflective, thoughtful professional struggling to learn his craft and become an expert in his field… something we can all relate to.  What I love about it (besides that it’s insightful and a complete page-turner) is that it can also be useful with students, especially high school students who are trying to find their way, learning new things.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Switch, brought to us by brothers Chip and Dan Heath (who also wrote the excellent Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die), is not just for school leaders, though if you run a school and haven’t read this book yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for.  But this book is also essential for teachers and parents and anyone who wants to change something—in other words, all of us.  Trust me: you won’t regret it.

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