Friday, December 28, 2012

Philly TeacherMan’s 2012 Reading (or waiting to be read) List


Not too long ago, I came across a list 50 most popular books for teachers.  As I scanned the list, I was a little dismayed at the lack of substance in the titles.  Lots of books of wit, quotes, jokes, and heartwarming stories, but not much professional analysis or criticism. 

(To be fair, there are a few good ones on the list.  I love Parker Palmer and actually reread him a few weeks ago. Perlstein’s Tested is good. So is Mondale’s School. I’ve heard Roxanna Elden speak and  See Me After Class is supposed to be pretty good.  And I was happy to see a text about Teacher-Researchers on the list.  That’s an important field that we need to grow).  

All in all, most of the books seem like little gifts parents might pick up at Hallmark to give to the teachers at the holidays.  
The list got me thinking about what I’ve read over the past 12 months and the stack of books that continues to grow in my office (and bedroom and living room).  To further demonstrate my textual obsession, let me share the agreement my wonderful fiancĂ©e and I have: If she doesn’t say anything about the constant stream of books that arrive at our door from Amazon, I won’t say anything about the dresses that arrive from Ideeli.  We get along fine.

At any rate, I’m very happy with the amount of reading that I’ve been able to get done this year.  What appears on the list below does not include the stuff that I taught, but it does include a couple of things that I started in my final semester of grad school and finished later in the year.  
I think it’s really important for teachers (and everyone for that matter) to continue to read on their own.  My list happens to be dominated by non-fiction that is related to my classroom or my population, but I suppose that’s just where my mind is now.  I also feel that many of my fiction needs are met in the classroom through short stories and novels that I teach across my five classes. 

Salzman, Mark - True Notebooks
Tatum, Alfred - Teaching Reading to Black and Adolescent Males
Goodman, Greg - Alternatives in Education: Critical pedagogy for disaffected youth
Stein, Garth - The Art of Racing in the Rain
Palmer, Parker - The Courage to Teach
Humes, Edward - No Matter How Loud I Shout
Moore, Wes - The Other Wes Moore
Delpit, Lisa - Multiplication is for White People
Harbach, Chad - The Art of Fielding
Ravich, Diane - The Death and the Life of the Great American School System
Hollowell, Mary - The Forgotten Room: Inside a Public Alternative School
Hill, Marc Lamont - Beats, Rymes + Classroom Life: Hip Hop pedagogy and the politics of identity
Anyon, Jean - Ghetto Schooling: A political Economy of Urban Ed Reform
Darling-Hammond, Linda - The Flat World and Education
Gallagher, Kelly - Readicide
Brooks, Max - World War Z
Pink, Daniel - Drive

Still in the Queue
Aarons, John et al.  - Dispatches From Juvenile Hall: Fixing a failing system
Bogira, Steve - Courtroom 301
Wilson, William Julius - More than Just Race: Begin Black and Poor in the Inner City
Meier, Deborah - The Power of their Ideas
Perry, Steele, Hillard - Young, Gifted & Black
Noguera, Pedro - The Trouble with Black Boys
Kohn, Alfie - Feel Bad Education
Tough, Paul - How Children Succeed
Sandel, Michael J. - What Money Can’t Buy

What have you enjoyed reading this year?? 


  1. Nice share info by you, it is very good habit read books. i will read some books.
    Thanks ..
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