10 books like The End of Education

By Neil Postman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The End of Education. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The School in the Cloud

By Sugata Mitra,

Book cover of The School in the Cloud: The Emerging Future of Learning

You may know of Sugata’s work, even if the name does not ring a bell. He is the Indian professor who decided to cement an online computer into a wall in a slum in Delhi, set up a hidden camera, and waited to see how the local children would react. This was before everyone had a laptop or a mobile phone. The kids quickly gathered round and quickly figured out how to do all kinds of interesting things, without any teaching. Indeed, he found that when teachers tried to ‘help’, the children stopped being resourceful, stopped collaborating as independent learners, and expected to be taught. The School in the Cloud documents the growth of Sugata’s work and global influence since that first experiment, and reminds us forcibly of just how much all children can learn under their own steam – if we will just get out of the way. 

The School in the Cloud

By Sugata Mitra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discover the results of Sugata Mitra's latest research around self-organized learning environments (SOLE) and building "Schools in the Cloud" all over the world.


An Ethic of Excellence

By Ron Berger,

Book cover of An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students

Ron Berger is a global treasure in the field of education. He is the guiding spirit behind the remarkable EL Education schools – they used to be called Expeditionary Learning schools – in the USA. An Ethic of Excellence was the first book of Ron’s I encountered, and it blew me away. With years of hard-won experience, he has learned that all students, give the right kind of support, are capable of producing genuinely high-quality work, and he knows how to teach in a way that makes that possibility a reality. Ron says, “when we are grown up, we won’t be judged by our test scores, but by the quality of both our character and our work”, and he gets students ready for that world. His schools get all their students to good colleges, and they get good degrees. The quality of Ron’s work is truly inspiring.

An Ethic of Excellence

By Ron Berger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Ethic of Excellence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drawing from his own remarkable experience as a veteran classroom teacher (still in the classroom), Ron Berger gives us a vision of educational reform that transcends standards, curriculum, and instructional strategies. He argues for a paradigm shifta schoolwide embrace of an ethic of excellence. A master carpenter as well as a gifted teacher, Berger is guided by a craftsman's passion for quality, describing what's possible when teachers, students, and parents commit to nothing less than the best. But Berger's not just idealistic, he's realistiche tells exactly how this can be done, from the blackboard to the blacktop to the school…


The Saber-Tooth Curriculum

By Abner Peddiwell,

Book cover of The Saber-Tooth Curriculum

This marvelous little book was first published in 1939 – and it is still bang up to date in its critique of conventional education. (As a society we seem to have learned far too little in the ensuing 80 years). Peddiwell tells the story of the first pre-historic educators who taught young people useful life skills like how to grab fish, or how to use fire to scare away saber-tooth tigers. Over the years the climate changed, but the elders refused to allow the curriculum to change with it. The saber-tooth tigers died out, but scaring them still had to be taught in schools because that knowledge had become a ‘cultural treasure’ even though it was now useless. It is very funny, and bang on the money, in showing just how stupid supposedly clever people can be. (Peddiwell and his story were both made up by a real professor called…

The Saber-Tooth Curriculum

By Abner Peddiwell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Saber-Tooth Curriculum as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

McGraw-Hill first published "The Saber- Tooth Curriculum" in 1939, and it has remained a classic bestseller to this date. The book is just as relevant and applicable to the key questions in education today as it was when it was first published. With tongue firmly in cheek, Peddiwell takes on the contradictions and confusion generated by conflicting philosophies of education, outlining the patterns and progression of education itself, from its origins at the dawn of time to its culmination in a ritualistic, deeply entrenched social institution with rigidly prescribed norms and procedures. This fascinating exploration is developed within a fanciful…


Future Wise

By David Perkins,

Book cover of Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World

Perkins, like Mitra and Berger, is on my list of top educational gurus. All his books are worth reading, but Future Wise is one of the latest and best. It takes a long careful look at the contents of the conventional school curriculum, compares it with the real-world challenges that today’s kids will meet, and finds it seriously lacking as a preparation for real life. He goes on to explore the wealth of current knowledge that isn’t in the curriculum but ought to be, and demonstrates the kind of careful, creative thinking about education that ought to be happening but rarely is – certainly not by most academics and politicians. David is a Harvard professor, and is, as you would expect, deeply thoughtful and fair-minded, but he writes with a down-to-earth elegance and charm that makes his penetrating questioning all the more convincing.

Future Wise

By David Perkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How to teach big understandings and the ideas that matter most Everyone has an opinion about education, and teachers face pressures from Common Core content standards, high-stakes testing, and countless other directions. But how do we know what today's learners will really need to know in the future? Future Wise: Educating Our Children for a Changing World is a toolkit for approaching that question with new insight. There is no one answer to the question of what's worth teaching, but with the tools in this book, you'll be one step closer to constructing a curriculum that prepares students for whatever…


We Want to Do More Than Survive

By Bettina L. Love,

Book cover of We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom

Ok, this book is not specifically about teaching in prison, but it is about teaching from an abolitionist perspective, which is relevant to the same readers interested in teaching in prison. I first read it as part of a National Alliance for Higher Education in Prison’s book group, along with my colleagues from the Emerson Prison Initiative. Love makes the argument that education merely for survival does a disservice to humanness, and transactional education reinforces social hierarchies. Alternatively, abolitionist teaching looks to connect education to liberation.

We Want to Do More Than Survive

By Bettina L. Love,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Want to Do More Than Survive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award

Drawing on personal stories, research, and historical events, an esteemed educator offers a vision of educational justice inspired by the rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists.

Drawing on her life’s work of teaching and researching in urban schools, Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements. She argues that the US educational system is maintained by and profits from the suffering of children of color. Instead of trying…


The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918

By James Weinstein,

Book cover of The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918

Weinstein’s, like Kolko’s book above, is a vital corrective to much starry-eyed contemporary writing about Progressivism and the real nature of movements supporting the “vital center.” His accounts of how major American businesses supported early twentieth-century reform movements, hoping to head off popular upsurges while also accomplishing changes they thought they needed, are indispensable in our time. Modern readers are not used to these sorts of things and so they have a hard time seeing through promises of reforms that are anything but what they appear to be. Like Kolko’s, Weinstein’s work is greatly strengthened by his study of primary sources. 

The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918

By James Weinstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State 1900-1918 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State, 1900-1918


Emile

By Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William H. Payne (translator),

Book cover of Emile: Or Treatise on Education

Another brilliant book challenging the traditional definition of “education” that is a must-read for anyone seeking to meditate on the meaning of “school.” Rousseau brilliantly challenges traditional educational thought by bringing into the picture a philosophy that true education is holistic in nature, informing the student about their relationship not only to the material, but to the elements of life in general. Education should transform the mind, which transformation assists in the transformation of the body, allowing the individual to discover their essence within. I’m recommending this book because of its ability to enlighten on “learning,” and because of how my understanding of the term “education” found correction through its spirit. 

Emile

By Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William H. Payne (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his pioneering treatise on education the great French philosopher presented concepts that had a significant influence on the development of pedagogy, and yet many of his ideas still sound radical today. Written in reaction to the stultifying system of rote learning and memorization prevalent throughout Europe in Rousseau's time, Emile is a utopian vision of child-centered education, full of the sentiments of Romanticism, which Rousseau himself inspired.

Imagining a typical boy named Emile, Rousseau creates an ideal model of one-on-one tutelage from infancy to manhood with himself as the child's mentor. "Everything is good as it comes from the…


No Longer a Secret

By Lucy Jane Miller, Lisa M. Porter, Doreit S. Bialer

Book cover of No Longer a Secret: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges

This book explains how to help children with sensory and regulation issues participate in daily life at home, at school, or out-and-about. "A SECRET" approach engages children through its seven components: Attunement, Sensation, Emotional regulation, Culture, Relationship, Environment, and Task. Parents, teachers, and therapists will appreciate these common-sense, on-the-spot, low-cost, problem-solving techniques. Using A SECRET brings hope and help, as you and your kids learn to enjoy being together and having fun!

No Longer a Secret

By Lucy Jane Miller, Lisa M. Porter, Doreit S. Bialer

Why should I read it?

1 author picked No Longer a Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Parents and teachers often struggle with the advice given by occupational therapists regarding support for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). What makes this book unique is the exploration of secrets that professionals sometimes hold close.

This book helps us see the big picture: A child's strengths, sensory differences, the family's role, and ways to support children in any context. The authors illuminate the complexities of choosing appropriate strategies and offer a framework to make creating a sensory lifestyle manageable.

This invaluable resource, updated and in a new edition, provides cost-effective, functional, and on-the-spot problem-solving tips to use at home,…


Autism in My Family

By Sandra Tucker,

Book cover of Autism in My Family: A Journal for Siblings of Children with ASD

This book beautifully explores the challenge of living with an autistic sibling. Eight – 12-year-olds are invited to draw/write about their feelings and experiences on their own and/or with a parent or their special-needs sibling. The basics of autism are explained to help children understand why their sibling acts the way they do, increasing empathy, reducing frustration, and decreasing conflict. This is a gentle, normalizing, and ultimately empowering book geared to families living with autism but potentially useful to children with special-needs siblings of all stripes.

Autism in My Family

By Sandra Tucker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Autism in My Family as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The relationship between siblings can be tough, and the sibling dynamic can be further challenged when one child has autism. This interactive workbook is designed for siblings of children with autism. Introducing the experience of autism in simple language, children are encouraged to complete activities that identify differences and strengthen relationships. This book is focussed on understanding and supporting a sibling while developing individual emotions and identity. The pages are designed to be drawn on and personalized by the child. Ideal for young children aged 8-12 who have a sibling with autism, the activities can be completed with a parent's…


Pedagogy of the Oppressed

By Paulo Freire,

Book cover of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

With this study, the legendary Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, delivered a manifesto for a critical pedagogy that continues to undergird the mission statement of many university departments all over the world, and in particular in the Global South, from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The book tells the story of the eternal struggle between the ruling classes and the underprivileged castes in society, and their resistance against the oppressive power of that system. I read this book at SOAS University of London. It has informed my understanding of civil resistance as a form of democratic empowerment which is so crucial to keep any form of authoritarianism at bay.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

By Paulo Freire,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire's work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and has taken on special urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is ongoing. This 50th anniversary edition includes an updated introduction by Donaldo Macedo, a new afterword by Ira Shor and interviews with Marina Aparicio Barberan, Noam Chomsky, Ramon Flecha, Gustavo Fischman, Ronald David Glass, Valerie Kinloch, Peter Mayo, Peter McLaren…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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