This is the first selection of recommended books reviewed by Kate Shepherd to be published monthly in ITM. Kate has specialised in reviewing books recommend for international schools and the IB’s PYP. Kate regularly reviews for Gleebooks, one of the oldest independent bookstores in Sydney.
All profits in support of WaterAid
by Sally Flint, illustrated by NokIsme. Review by Jan Homden
What is the family to do? It is a Saturday morning and the wi-fi is broken. Everyone is distraught except the cat and Grandpa William who saves the day by suggesting that today they do things a little bit differently.
Jan Homden reviews the 2016 edition of Prue Walsh’s innovative and influential book which provides a wealth of ideas for the creation of an inspirational outdoor leaning environment and remains as relevant today as it was when it was fist published.
Alec Ross worked as a Senior Advisor for Innovation to the former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Brian Ambrosio reviews his recent publication, “The Industries of the Future” with a focus on how this description of the future should be shaping education policy.
Vicky Hill alerts us to the publication of a new book exploring the teaching of mathematics and how best to engage students and ensure they have the best chance of success.
Teaching overseas, particularly for the first-timer, is a thrilling prospect that can also be a little daunting. A myriad of new cultural experiences await as one leaves the safe home port and ventures forth to a new country, new home and new school. “Teaching Overseas: An Insider’s Perspective”, by, Kent M. Blakeney, is packed with information that will help alleviate any lingering anxieties and is a very entertaining read. Tony Richards reviews this new publication.
Dr Eugene Heimler developed an innovative and unique form of psychotherapy, the Heimler Method of Social Functioning, which has enabled countless individuals to find meaning and new direction in their lives and turn frustration and disengagement into creativity and involvement. Peter Hudson provides a very personal review of Dr Heimler’s account of some of the experiences that helped mould his now widely used counselling techniques.
No understanding of the power of listening is complete without appreciating the work of Eugene – John – Heimler, a truly great listener and founder of a counselling method known as Human Social Functioning. Carl Rogers was perhaps one of the best known ‘listeners’ of the 20th Century. John Heimler is less well known, similar and yet different. It is the work of John Heimler which forms the basis of the Listening Skills Training for teachers that is taught by Consilium Education and the Motivated Learning Trust.
I was privileged to have known John and to have had him as my therapist whilst in training.
HOW TEACHING WORKS (AND HOW TO TEACH IT TO EVERYONE)
Delice Scotto looks at the latest publication from Elizabeth Green, co-founder of CHALKBEAT, a-not–for-profit educational news site in the US. Building a Better Teacher looks at the hot topic of teacher effectiveness and analyses the debates that have engrossed the United States over the past few decades between educational reformers and the teacher unions, between teacher autonomy and teacher accountability. Green then looks into how the best teachers “are built”.
Peter Hudson looks at how the listening skills of a teacher who had been trained in active listening skills helped support a student to find their own way to access new aspects of the school curriculum and ultimately achieve success.
Listening Quote of the Month:
As no one else can know how we perceive, we are the best experts on ourselves. Carl Rogers, 1902 – 1987
In life it is rare to discover a book that is truly “life-changing”. Silent Spring was just that for Dr Samia Al-Farra. Dr Samia explains how an inspired choice changed her view of the world and opened her eyes to the fragility of our planet and its resources.
An inspired choice
More than forty years ago, as part of my under-graduate course, in Science with a major in Biology, we were expected to read, discuss and write a critical account of ten evidence-based, scientific books covering topics such as drugs, pollution, and population control.
Empathy: a handbook for revolution, published in the US as Empathy, why it matters and how to get it.
Roman Krznaric, Rider Books, 2014
The importance of empathy
For philosopher Roman Krznaric, western society has painted itself into something of a corner. The prevailing political and social orthodoxy of our time is rooted in competition, the needs of the individual and introspective obsessions. This means that 21st century western society is missing a trick or two because we tend to neglect the kind of collaborative skills and thinking that could transform our individual talents into something greater. He argues that effective collaboration depends on the ability to see things from another’s point of view: in other words, to empathise with others.
Published by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), 1987, now available as The 5 Core Propositions.
I found this short tract when I inherited the contents of the bookshelves in my office at Enka Schools in 2002. It lingered there for a little longer, but then I picked it up one afternoon and read it from cover to cover in an hour (it’s 21 pages long). I was fascinated by the unambiguously simple title and I was not disappointed by what it had to say. In making the case for rigorous and thoughtful practice, it makes five propositions:
Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell, 2002 (first published 1998)
Shackleton’s Way is an excellent read for any educational leader who wants to “Sharpen the Saw”, as Stephen Covey would have it.
Includes 10 minute extracts from talks by Sugata Mitra, Annie Murphy Paul, Alison Gopnik and Rita Pierson, presented by Guy Raz
TED talks are of course a major phenomenon of our time, but the collaborative project by National Public Radio and TED to condense views expressed by different speakers at different times into a one hour thematic digest takes it a stage further.
30 minute interviews with Sir Ken Robinson, John Hattie, Tony Little, Daisy Christodolou, Paul Howard-Jones, Sugata Mitra, Jo Boaler, and Salman Khan. In August and September 2014 BBC Radio 4 broadcast a series of interviews which involved some of the most influential educational thinkers of our time.