What We're Reading

What’s on your reading list? Here are five book recommendations to support your professional learning, as we work to prepare all students to become lifelong learners and contributors in the 21st century.   

WhatSchoolCouldBeWhat School Could Be: Insights and Inspiration from Teachers Across America
By Ted Dintersmith

Innovation expert Ted Dintersmith took an unprecedented trip across America, visiting all fifty states in a single school year. He met teachers in ordinary settings doing extraordinary things, creating innovative classrooms where children learn deeply and joyously as they gain purpose, agency, essential skillsets and mindsets, and real knowledge. Together, these new ways of teaching and learning offer a vision of what school could be—and a model for transforming schools throughout the United States and beyond. Buy the book.

“Ted does a great job of making a case for why the transformation of school systems is so necessary, while also highlighting examples of school systems and educators who are engaged in this work,” shares Battelle for Kids President and CEO Karen Garza. “The examples he highlights provide inspiration and encouragement for education leaders to innovate now.”

WhenCoverWhen: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
By Daniel Pink

Our lives are a never-ending stream of "when" decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. Timing, it's often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Daniel Pink shows that timing is really a science. Drawing on a rich trove of research from psychology, biology, and economics, Pink reveals how best to live, work, and succeed. Buy the book

“In true Pinkian fashion, Dan’s book is laced with great stories and great advice. It is well suited for leaders who are constantly being challenged to decide ‘when,’” says Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21. 

CultureCodeCoverThe Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
By Daniel Coyle

Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded. Buy the book.

“I started reading this book after encouragement from a colleague, and I’m so glad for it! Culture Code spoke to me intensely,” shares Kim Ratcliff, Managing Director of Marketing and Communications. “People often make decisions to leave, stay, or join organizations based on what they know about culture. I’m no different. This book reminded me that culture is all of us, working together. And what we create in collaboration is what makes us all thrive.”

RethinkingReadinessCoverRethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work, and Life

By Rafael Heller, Rebecca Wolfe, and Adria Steinberg

Today’s students must cultivate the full range of intellectual, interpersonal, and intrapersonal capacities that have been grouped together under the banner of “deeper learning.” Written by some of the nation’s most well-respected education scholars, Rethinking Readiness focuses on how educators and policy makers should move forward to provide the educational experiences that students need to become truly well prepared for college, careers, and civic life, including changes in curriculum, teacher evaluation, and student assessment. Buy the book.

“Rethinking Readiness not only provides a comprehensive view of the necessary shifts in mindset, but also provides insight into the essential transformative shifts in practice, pedagogy, structures, and policy to cultivate deeper learning experiences for our students,” shared Jamie Meade, Chief of Staff at Battelle for Kids. “The book serves as a foundation for educators and communities to engage in reflection and discussion about our urgent call to action to transform learning experiences in the 21st century.”  

FactfulnessCoverFactfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

By Hans Rosling

When asked simple questions about global trends―what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school―we systematically get the answers wrong. In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective―from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Buy the book

Karen Garza shares, “This is a very well-researched book that outlines ten instincts that often cause distortions in how we interpret information and how we see the world. The authors provide detailed examples and real stories of these distortions in practice. This is a very thought-provoking book and a great summer read for education leaders.”

Visit our Learning Hub to find other resources to support your work.