The theory of education is an ever-evolving pendulum of information. Understanding educational policies and practices within curriculum, learning, leadership, and pedagogy allows teachers to be even more effective in the classroom. The following books provide a diverse selection of ideas within the topic of educational theory.
1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Every person has conscious and unconscious beliefs that flow through the mind at any given time. These thoughts can turn to actions and have an impact on our behaviors. Understanding the theory of a fixed mindset and growth mindset is helpful in determining the capacity for contentment in our life. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success teaches that people are capable of change through both experience and applied knowledge, according to Brain Pickings. Furthermore, it will get you thinking about your own educational theories as you analyze how obstacles, effort, criticism, and the success of others have shaped your thinking. By allowing yourself to become aware of the two mindsets, you will become more passionate about learning and not looking towards others for approval.
2. A Framework for Understanding Poverty; A Cognitive Approach
Poverty is a cycle that can limit opportunities others might take for granted. Ruby Payne explains how poverty-stricken students have different knowledge, emotions, and rules than the typical middle-class teacher or student. This book will get you thinking about why your students may be exhibiting particular behaviors in the classroom and help you have a better understanding through the charts, tables, and questionnaires throughout the book. It is a must-read for all teachers to have deeper knowledge about students and the effects of their environment.
3. The Cage Busting Teacher
Teachers are leaders, but the rules in educational settings can make you feel caged as a teacher. The Cage Busting Teacher gives practical advice on how to make a difference in a school through changing policies and practices. It challenges teachers to question why and how certain policies are in place and gives advice on seeking solutions to everyday challenges. It is an inspirational book for teachers and educators to help strengthen their educational communities. Overall, it emphasizes the impact teachers can have on making positive changes.
4. Understanding by Design
Backward design is extremely helpful when unit planning and designing curricula to engage students. The theoretical and practical material presented in this book guides educators to create assessments to show the extent of student understanding. The educational theory of backward design will get the teacher to think about the outcome for the students rather than just “activities” to be completed. The numerous examples explaining the various stages of planning are helpful in applying the concept.
5. Vygotsky’s Educational Theory in Cultural Context
Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory is given ample attention by a team of scholarly contributors in this book that delves into how social and mental dealings relate to the learning process. Instead of teachers dispensing knowledge upon their students, the individual learns through both social and cultural influences. Child development and educational psychology are explored as you are made aware of your view of the teacher and the students.
Book topics within educational theory are too numerous to count, but the aforementioned five are a good starting point. They will challenge you to think about yourself as both the teacher and the learner and your own theories within an educational setting.
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