Sunday 22 February 2015

Books you must read 

A friend of mine is on a mission to read books that make him smarter and has asked for some recommendations.  He mentioned that the shallow nature of Facebook has eroded his ability to really think deeply.

Reading books to make you smarter does not mean reading books you agree with. It means reading books that expand your current perspectives and ideas.  They should also provoke you to think more, and put you in contact with the smartest minds in various areas.

I remember doing a study on B.F Skinner and thinking that since behaviorism had largely died in educational thinking there would be little of value in his books.  How wrong I was.  In fact, I ended up reading every single book Skinner ever wrote.  I think I understand his ideas and now have an informed view of what I agree with and the limitations of this ideas.  It also helped me understand the emergence of constructivisim and all its variants.

So I am putting together a list for educators.  Now - these are not all books I agree with, but books that have made me think differently.  They are all very different, but if you read them, you will be better educated and a better educator.  I recommend them all and will update the list over the next month.

The books are grist for the mill.  The first four are a slightly skewed balance between competing views of education.  A good project would be to identify the competing themes.

On liberty - John Stuart Mill
The Advancement of learning - Bacon
Atlas shrugged - Ayn Rand
Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Paulo Friere

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