[I should have written this post a month ago but better late than never…]
I read some great (and not so great) books in 2022! Here are my top few (and why)…
My top book for 2022 was Changing the Subject: Twenty Years of Projects from High Tech High, by Jean Kluver and Jeff Robin. The book is an incredible gift to everyone who cares about deeper learning. Changing the Subject is a coffee table-style book that profiles 50 projects done by students and faculty over the past 20 years across the various schools in the High Tech High system. Each project in the book includes a description, learning outcomes, and vibrant photos of students at work and their learning artifacts. The book captures the enthusiasm of the students as well as the depth, breadth, and rigor of their inquiry- and project-based learning. Changing the Subject is incredibly inspiring because it shows us what young people are capable of if we unleash their creativity and scaffold and structure their learning toward critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and community contribution. I have shown the projects in this book to a large number of educators. Their inevitable reaction is “WOW, that’s amazing. Kids that age did that?!” This book is a must-own if you are trying to transform schools and facilitate deeper learning experiences by children and adolescents. (FYI, there’s also an online version)
The book that was a strong second for me last year was Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education by Alex Shevrin Venet. I learned a LOT. The book is both thought-provoking and practical as it describes the impacts of structural inequities, how educators respond to struggling children, and what we can do better. I highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about fixing educational systems so that they better serve the young people in their care.
On the fiction front, I picked up The Blacktongue Thief at a random bookstore in Lake Oswego, Oregon. I knew nothing about it, but it was a rollicking, quirky, thrilling read from start to finish. If you like fantasy books, you’ll love this one.
Hope you’re reading something fun too!