5 Great Child Development Books
- Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys
- Raising Girls
- Cultivating the Genius of Black Children
- Understand Child Development (Teach Yourself)
- The Whole-Brain Child
Teachers must read about child development if they want to excel at classroom management. Without understanding the science behind students’ misbehavior, it’s difficult to offer constructive alternatives to poor decisions. That’s why the best teachers constantly self-educate. These five great books on childhood development make it easy for educators to keep learning.
1. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys
Most teachers are female, but half of students are boys. How can female teachers provide appropriate guidance to male children? Authors Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, both child psychologists, lay out the unique psychological needs of boys. They provide useful strategies on how adults can nurture boys and compelling evidence to support their thesis that boys need emotional development. This is a must-read for elementary and middle school teachers. High school educators will see some benefit, but Thompson and Kindlon primarily focus on younger boys.
2. Raising Girls
Steve Biddulph wanted parents and teachers to have a book on girls’ childhood development. After seeing the success of Raising Cain, Biddulph collected this expert resource on how to nurture girls into strong, powerful women. He wants to address the declining levels of girls’ mental health seen in elementary and middle schools. He lays out a simple-to-understand five-step development guide covering the basic levels of girls’ development. There’s also a section on mental health topics like eating disorders, bullying, social media use and body image disorders.
3. Cultivating the Genius of Black Children
Although not strictly a book on child development, this teacher-focused book still has wisdom to deliver. Debra Ren-Etta Sullivan wants educators to understand the cultural and psychological factors that contribute to the achievement gap. By creating strategies to overcome these barriers, teachers can help Black students achieve their full potential. Dr. Sullivan holds a doctorate in educational leadership and is the Dean at the Applied Behavioral Sciences College of Seattle Central College. She uses her education and decades of experience to provide real-life examples and tools that teachers can start using right away. This is a great book for teachers wanting to tackle the disproportionate school discipline received by Black students, as reported by The Washington Post.
4. Understand Child Development (Teach Yourself)
This is a great comprehensive resource on childhood development. It covers physical, mental and social growth from birth until age 16. Carolyn Meggitt writes in a down-to-earth manner so teachers of all backgrounds can follow along. This book is highly recommended for educators with no psychology background who need a quick, introductory lesson on children’s development.
5. The Whole-Brain Child
Although this book is aimed at parents, it has a wealth of resources for teachers. The authors walk readers through the timeline of development in children’s brains, explaining when different social and psychological skills become possible. They include a wide array of management techniques, all based on science. Teachers of young children will appreciate learning how to manage a classroom of students at different development stages. Plus, many parents have read this book, so displaying it during a Parent-Teacher Conference will create a quick bond.
Related Resource: Top 10 Online Child Development Bachelor’s Degree Programs 2018
Education is a lifelong journey. Teachers can model that attitude to their students by teaching themselves with any of these five amazing books on childhood development for teachers.