One of the pitfalls of my PGCE course was that I was not encouraged to read much beyond ‘101 ICT starters’. It was not part of the culture of the course. It was not a habit widely encouraged either during the course of in the schools within which I trained.
Since then (mainly through my PLN on Twitter) I have read a number of books that have challenged and made me think about the the way I teach and the strategies I use inside and outside of my classroom (see my reading list). I also have an Amazon wishlist the size of a phone directory! PGCE’s may have changed a bit in the 5 years since I completed mine
I always encourage all teachers I connect with, whether new to the profession or not to read widely. Getting advice and preferences from colleagues within your school is a good starting point, but can be dangerous if you accept it as the status quo without exploring further. If a friend recommended a restaurant to you as ‘the best in town’, you’d probably go and experience it for yourself. And this wouldn’t stop you from trying other restaurants in the area and further afield. Until you extend your network and explore other options it would be impossible to say whether the original recommended restaurant was the best in town.
Teaching can be a bit like this – you get recommended other peoples preferences for doing things which may or may not work for you. The great teachers out there are restless. They have a commitment to exploring their pedagogy. They want to be challenged. They want to be made to think and reflect on what they are doing.
The aim of this post is to provide a starting point for new and experienced teachers to start reading more widely.
I recently posed this question to Twitter…
What came out of the responses was a list of books that seem to be quite popular amongst teachers because they have challenged a way of thinking about teaching and provided enough food for thought for further exploration. In no particular order here are some titles to get you started…
– The Secret of Literacy: Making the implicit explicit by David Didau (@LearningSpy)
There are undoubtedly many more titles out there to explore. This list serves merely as a starting point. Please feel free to recommend more titles in the comments section below. I’d also really appreciate your views on the titles recommended above.