100 books like An Experiment in Education

By Sybil Marshall,

Here are 100 books that An Experiment in Education fans have personally recommended if you like An Experiment in Education. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Children's Minds

Sue Palmer Author Of Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It

From my list on child development and education.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a primary head teacher, then literacy consultant, I wrote many books about education but at the age of 50 I changed tack. A meeting with a researcher who’d discovered an alarming decline in young children’s listening skills led to eight years’ research on the effects of modern lifestyles on children’s development. It involved many interviews with experts on diet, sleep, play, language, family life, childcare, education, screen-time, marketing influences and parenting styles – and a great deal of reading. By the time Toxic Childhood was first published in 2006 I’d realised that, in a 21st century culture, society should be paying far more attention to child development, especially in the early years. I hope to go on spreading that message until my dying breath.

Sue's book list on child development and education

Sue Palmer Why did Sue love this book?

I read Children’s Minds during the school summer holidays in 1979 and vividly remember sitting in the sunshine in Edinburgh’s Meadows, in floods of tears over Margaret Donaldson’s call to arms in her closing pages. Children’s Minds is a wonderful introduction to the science of child development (indeed, it profoundly affected the course of that science, particularly in terms of the development of thought and language). It’s wise, perceptive and a great read.  

By Margaret Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Children's Minds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Margaret Donaldson's seminal work on child development, first published in 1978, has become a classic inquiry into the nature of human thought.

In this concise and brilliantly readable book, Margaret Donaldson shows that context is key when it comes to the development of language and thought, and how the right support can ensure children are skilled in these areas before they even start school. She revisits earlier theories of child development, notably those of Jean Piaget, to expose flaws in the accepted wisdom on child psychology and to suggest a range of new strategies to help children combat difficulties.

As…


Book cover of The Disappearance of Childhood

Sue Palmer Author Of Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It

From my list on child development and education.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a primary head teacher, then literacy consultant, I wrote many books about education but at the age of 50 I changed tack. A meeting with a researcher who’d discovered an alarming decline in young children’s listening skills led to eight years’ research on the effects of modern lifestyles on children’s development. It involved many interviews with experts on diet, sleep, play, language, family life, childcare, education, screen-time, marketing influences and parenting styles – and a great deal of reading. By the time Toxic Childhood was first published in 2006 I’d realised that, in a 21st century culture, society should be paying far more attention to child development, especially in the early years. I hope to go on spreading that message until my dying breath.

Sue's book list on child development and education

Sue Palmer Why did Sue love this book?

Postman was a hugely erudite and witty writer. When I discovered this book in the 1990s, I was immediately convinced by his argument that our modern conception of ‘childhood’ is connected with the invention of the printing press … and with human progress over succeeding centuries. I was just as convinced by his concern that the recent explosion of screen-based culture would have profound effects on childhood and, indeed, on the quality of human thought. I’m therefore deeply honoured that Toxic Childhood is now on an ‘A’ Level Sociology syllabus alongside The Disappearance of Childhood – can’t believe that we’re sitting on the same shelf!   

By Neil Postman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Disappearance of Childhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the vogue for nubile models to the explosion in the juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today−and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood.

Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into popular…


Book cover of The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do

Sue Palmer Author Of Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It

From my list on child development and education.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a primary head teacher, then literacy consultant, I wrote many books about education but at the age of 50 I changed tack. A meeting with a researcher who’d discovered an alarming decline in young children’s listening skills led to eight years’ research on the effects of modern lifestyles on children’s development. It involved many interviews with experts on diet, sleep, play, language, family life, childcare, education, screen-time, marketing influences and parenting styles – and a great deal of reading. By the time Toxic Childhood was first published in 2006 I’d realised that, in a 21st century culture, society should be paying far more attention to child development, especially in the early years. I hope to go on spreading that message until my dying breath.

Sue's book list on child development and education

Sue Palmer Why did Sue love this book?

In recent years, my work is increasingly concerned with the interface between child development and evolutionary biology. The Nurture Assumption is a challenging book that’s attracted praise and vilification in equal measure. Judith Rich Harris argues that ‘parenting’ is less influential in children’s emotional and social development than is currently assumed and I think that’s well worth thinking about. The love and care of adults are obviously of immense importance, but children bring their own strengths into the world, not least their inborn drive to learn through play.

By Judith Rich Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nurture Assumption as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out welt? How much blame when they turn out badly? Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents' lives: The "nurture assumption" -- the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up -- is nothing more than a cultural myth. This electrifying book explodes some of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.

Harris looks with a fresh…


Book cover of Play is the Way

Sue Palmer Author Of Toxic Childhood: How The Modern World Is Damaging Our Children And What We Can Do About It

From my list on child development and education.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a primary head teacher, then literacy consultant, I wrote many books about education but at the age of 50 I changed tack. A meeting with a researcher who’d discovered an alarming decline in young children’s listening skills led to eight years’ research on the effects of modern lifestyles on children’s development. It involved many interviews with experts on diet, sleep, play, language, family life, childcare, education, screen-time, marketing influences and parenting styles – and a great deal of reading. By the time Toxic Childhood was first published in 2006 I’d realised that, in a 21st century culture, society should be paying far more attention to child development, especially in the early years. I hope to go on spreading that message until my dying breath.

Sue's book list on child development and education

Sue Palmer Why did Sue love this book?

In 2020, as Chair of the Upstart Scotland campaign, I was invited to edit a collection of essays by experts from a wide range of disciplines. All were arguing for a more enlightened and coherent approach to the care and education of children between three and seven years of age. The 19th century approach to education in the UK and USA is completely out of kilter with children’s needs in a 21st-century world and we need radical change, starting at the beginning. This is when developmental foundations are laid that will underpin children’s lifelong learning, health and well-being. All teachers need to know about early child development and helping pull together so much wisdom and humanity into one readable little book was a great privilege and an absolutely joyous experience.

By Sue Palmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Play is the Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Always the Cinderella of the education system, the significance of early years has been seriously under-estimated. Play is the Way brings together leading practitioners, policy-makers and academics to explain how a coherent approach to early years – centred on positive relationships and play – will not only result in better educational performance but in greatly improved health and well-being for future Scottish citizens. They challenge the deeply-ingrained cultural acceptance, throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK, that formal instruction in the three Rs (reading, ’riting and ’rithmetic) should begin at the age of four or five – at least…


Book cover of Character Building: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Thomas Lickona Author Of How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain

From my list on raising good children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a developmental psychologist and former professor of education. My life’s work and 10 books have focused on helping families and schools foster good character in kids. Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility is credited with helping launch the national character education movement. My first book for parents, Raising Good Children, described how to guide kids through the stages of moral development from birth through adulthood. My focus these days is kindness and its supporting virtues. My wife Judith and I have two grown sons and 15 grandchildren, and with William Boudreau, MD, co-authored Sex, Love, and You: Making the Right Decision, a book for teens.

Thomas' book list on raising good children

Thomas Lickona Why did Thomas love this book?

Reading this book is like taking a course from a wonderful teacher who opens your eyes to how much more there is to a subject than you ever imagined. David Isaacs was director of the School of Education at the University of Navarre, has published ten books and is the father of six children. This enduring classic, originally published in Spanish in 1976 but available in English, provides a clear, concise chapter on the meaning and importance of each of 24 teachable virtues: good judgment, orderliness, respect, responsibility, obedience to legitimate authority and rules, industriousness, moderation, modesty, justice, generosity, patience, friendship, and more.

Isaacs helpfully groups these virtues into four developmental periods (early and middle childhood, early and late adolescence) and tells us which virtues to emphasize during each period based on the characteristics of children at that age. His vision of virtues is also informed by his Catholic view…

By David Isaacs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Character Building as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, author David Isaacs, an educationalist and parent, offers ideas and suggestions on how parents and teachers can help children's all-round development. The emphasis is on character building, approached from the viewpoint of moral habits. Professor Isaacs takes twenty-four virtues and discusses how the child - at different ages - can be encouraged to be obedient, industrious, sincere, prudent, generous, optimistic, sociable, and so on. There is no book on child development quite like this.


Book cover of The Neurobehavioral and Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Children

Erica Komisar Author Of Chicken Little the Sky Isn't Falling: Raising Resilient Adolescents in the New Age of Anxiety

From my list on raising an emotionally resilient child.

Why am I passionate about this?

Erica Komisar is a licensed clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and parent guidance expert who has been in private practice in New York City for over 30 years. A graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Universities and The New York Freudian Society, Ms. Komisar is a psychological consultant bringing parenting and work/life workshops to clinics, schools, corporations, and childcare settings. She is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Daily News. She is a Contributing Editor to The Institute For Family Studies and appears regularly on Fox and Friends and Fox 5 News

Erica's book list on raising an emotionally resilient child

Erica Komisar Why did Erica love this book?

This book helps clinicians and parents to understand the need for mothers or primary attachment figures to repair the missteps and misunderstandings from moment to moment to foster emotional security. Every mother and baby have moments of misunderstanding, the sooner the mother can repair this rift through empathy and taking responsibility for the misstep, the more seen and heard and secure the baby will feel.

By Ed Tronick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Neurobehavioral and Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Over the course of his esteemed career, he has received funding for hundreds of key studies in the US and abroad on normal and abnormal infant and child development-including his Mutual Regulation Model and Still-Face Paradigm, which revolutionized our understanding of infants' emotional capacities and coping-all of which led to critical contributions in the field. Much of his work serves as the benchmark for how mental health clinicians think about biopsychosocial states of consciousness, the process of meaning making, and how and why we engage with others in the world.

Now, for the first time, Tronick has gathered together his…


Book cover of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

Joni Levine Author Of 365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity: Games, Projects, and Pastimes That Encourage a Child's Learning and Imagination

From my list on toddler development and behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion has always been caring for and educating young children. I spent over 20 years in the classroom as a child care professional and much of that time was with toddlers. I discovered that the stereotype of the terrible twos was truly misguided. I chose books that will shed new light on why toddlers behave the way that they do. These books will show the reader what an important time this is in a child’s growth and learning. I believe that these books will help convince you that toddlers are not terrible; they are terrific!

Joni's book list on toddler development and behavior

Joni Levine Why did Joni love this book?

There are many opinions and schools of thought on how to best raise and care for young children. The author lays her discussion firmly on the solid foundation of research. Beyond academic skills or ability, Ms. Galinsky identifies seven skills that will lead to the child’s success in the future. Skills such as making connections or critical thinking need to be fostered for a child to do well in school as well as in interactions and endeavors later in life. This book is sometimes used as a text in college classes. And yet, parents will easily find this content accessible with concrete ideas to develop these essential life skills.

By Ellen Galinsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mind in the Making as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ellen Galinsky has spent her entire career studying early childhood development, first at Vassar College, then for twenty-five years at the Bank Street College of Education, and for the past twenty years as the founder and now president of the Families and Work Institute. What she has found is that there is an enormous gap between what researchers have discovered and what parents have been told about those discoveries. "Minds in the Making" bridges this gap, bringing the work of more than a hundred scientists into a form that parents everywhere can use. Galinsky has divided this information into the…


Book cover of Touchpoints-Birth to Three

Joni Levine Author Of 365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity: Games, Projects, and Pastimes That Encourage a Child's Learning and Imagination

From my list on toddler development and behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion has always been caring for and educating young children. I spent over 20 years in the classroom as a child care professional and much of that time was with toddlers. I discovered that the stereotype of the terrible twos was truly misguided. I chose books that will shed new light on why toddlers behave the way that they do. These books will show the reader what an important time this is in a child’s growth and learning. I believe that these books will help convince you that toddlers are not terrible; they are terrific!

Joni's book list on toddler development and behavior

Joni Levine Why did Joni love this book?

T. Berry Brazelton has been recognized as an expert on parenting and child development. I used to eagerly wait to read his newspaper column that offered concise advice on child care. In this book, Brazelton covers the milestones of typical development and he discusses common concerns of this age range. Although this book focuses on emotional and behavioral development, his background in pediatrics allows him to write about physical development as well. You will learn, in detail, what to expect of young children up to age three in this comprehensive book.

By T. Berry Brazelton, Joshua D. Sparrow,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Touchpoints-Birth to Three as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All over the U.S. and in over twenty countries around the world, Touchpoints has become required reading for anxious parents of babies and small children. T. Berry Brazelton's great empathy for the universal concerns of parenthood, and honesty about the complex feelings it engenders, as well as his uncanny insight into the predictable leaps and regressions of early childhood, have comforted and supported families since its publication in 1992. In this completely revised edition Dr. Brazelton introduces new information on physical, emotional, and behavioural development. He also addresses the new stresses on families and fears of children, with a fresh…


Book cover of The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

Alyssa Campbell Author Of Tiny Humans, Big Emotions: How to Navigate Tantrums, Meltdowns, and Defiance to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children

From my list on raising emotionally intelligent humans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been drawn to babies and toddlers and fascinated by the development that happens in the early years of life. This fascination led me to become a teacher, parent, and emotional development expert with a master's degree in early childhood education. Eventually, my passion for this field led me to co-create the Collaborative Emotion Processing method and research it nationwide. The research results were compelling, and so began my mission to share it with the world.

Alyssa's book list on raising emotionally intelligent humans

Alyssa Campbell Why did Alyssa love this book?

I love this book because it explains how a child’s brain works and what they need to access self-control. It gave me insight into why I saw challenging behaviors even when the child “knew better.”

I loved that when I finished reading it, I felt like I had actionable strategies for supporting my child’s mental well-being while navigating tantrums and meltdowns. 

By Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Whole-Brain Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this pioneering, practical book for parents, neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson explain the new science of how a child's brain is wired and how it matures. Different parts of a child's brain develop at different speeds and understanding these differences can help you turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child's brain and raise calmer, happier children.

Featuring clear explanations, age-appropriate strategies and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child will help your children to lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives using…


Book cover of Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America

Paula S. Fass Author Of The End of American Childhood: A History of Parenting from Life on the Frontier to the Managed Child

From my list on understanding American parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a social historian, I have helped to direct scholarly attention to the history of family life and helped to create the field of history of children. I'm the editor of a pioneering three-volume encyclopedia on the history of children and the author of six books and editor of three others based on extensive research about children’s experiences in the United States and the Western world. I've also been widely interviewed on the subject. The End of American Childhood brings this research experience and broad expertise in the field to a subject of urgent interest to today’s parents who want to understand how their own views about children and their child-rearing perspectives are grounded historically. 

Paula's book list on understanding American parenting

Paula S. Fass Why did Paula love this book?

Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America probes what I consider to be the basic dilemma of modern American parenting – how the love for children and concern for their welfare has led to growing anxiety among parents eager to do it right. 

In imaginative research into different dimensions of culture, Stearns shows that middle-class parents became increasingly self-conscious and self-questioning about meeting the needs of their children starting in the early twentieth century. The book probes the emotional consequences of modern parenting’s commitment to encouraging child expression and individual happiness.

Stearns’s exploration demonstrates one of the consequences of the revolution—from viewing children as having utility to having only emotional value—first defined by Zelizer. It suggests how even the best-intended changes can have unexpected consequences.

By Peter N. Stearns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anxious Parents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An examination into the history of modern parenting
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw a dramatic shift in the role of children in American society and families. No longer necessary for labor, children became economic liabilities and twentieth-century parents exhibited a new level of anxiety concerning the welfare of their children and their own ability to parent effectively. What caused this shift in the ways parenting and childhood were experienced and perceived? Why, at a time of relative ease and prosperity, do parents continue to grapple with uncertainty and with unreasonable expectations of both themselves and their children?
Peter N.…


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