5 Great Books for Curriculum and Instruction

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Books for Curriculum and Instruction

  • The Reading Zone
  • How Children Succeed
  • The Shame of the Nation
  • Teach Like a Champion
  • Essential Questions

Teaching, as all educators know, is a constantly evolving and dynamic field. New methodologies are being regularly introduced as educators gain insight into the needs and opportunities of the students they teach, from toddlers to older adults.

Every student and classroom presents a unique challenge to the educator in designing curriculums and determining which instructional techniques work best for their students. Here are five books that will assist educators in effectively designing curriculum, and ensuring that their students are learning adequately.

1. The Reading Zone, by Nancie Atwell

This groundbreaking text demonstrates pedagogical methods for turning students into passionate readers, and argues the importance of students have the freedom to choose reading that interests, excites, and teaches them in accordance with their interests and goals. The text also includes methods for involving parents in the process of creating passionate and dedicated readers, as well as goal and assessment techniques for all.

2. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough

This book discusses the importance of adapting the character traits of children to success, rather than assigning the probability of success to pure intelligence. The text aims to instruct teachers on how to build and utilize character traits to drive students towards success, and how to increase the efficacy of those qualities through individual and group instruction, utilizing stories of both instructors and students as well as research conducted on this topic.

3. The Shame of the Nation, by Jonathan Kozol

Kozol's works have sought to address educational inequalities in the United States, particularly those created by ethnic and socioeconomic disparity and inequality. This critical book, described as "the most important book of this age," according to Scholastic, seeks to unify educators and school administrators into the adoption of a system that educates all students equally. From curriculum design to budget problems for schools that serve poorer students, this book seeks to rectify this inequality by providing equal opportunity to students in education – and in instructing teachers on why this is so vitally important.

4. Teach Like a Champion, by Doug Lemov

This well-constructed and purely practical text offers a wide range of instructional techniques for use in a broad swath of different classrooms that can help increase efficacy in learning. Aimed at teachers who are new to the field, this adaptive and pragmatic text can assist new teachers in putting their knowledge of education into more effective practice, and in learning how to teach a wide array of different students of all backgrounds.

5. Essential Questions, by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins

A must read for curriculum developers, this highly recommended book assists educators in conceiving and implementing essential questions into classroom curriculums in order to maximize learning of important concepts in each academic field. Essential Questions also assists educators in organizing content into units and lesson plans, making it a must-read, particularly for educators new to the field, whether they teach in K-12, college, or academic services centers.

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Each of these well researched texts presents a different view of instruction and curriculum development, and provides key concepts and practical skills to constructively addressing each classroom, student, or tutee, according to Fractus Learning. Whether you are teaching preschool or instructing continuing education classes, each of these books is well worth the read, and can assist educators in reaching maximum effectiveness in their classrooms.