Amanda Ripley’s: The Smartest Kids in the World

Increasing rigor and emphasizing mastery is key to making American students competitive on the world stage. The Smartest Kids in the World, by Amanda Ripley, serves up a bit of tough love to the American education system by exploring the reasons our kids fall further and further behind their international counterparts—especially in math and science—as they progress through our schools. … Read More

Tom & David Kelly’s: Creative Confidence

Creativity is crucial to problem solving; creative confidence allows individuals to believe in their ability to create change.   Creative Confidence pulls together theories of growth mindset and grit, among others, and how to nurture creative capacity to innovate and create positive change in the world. If the purpose of education is to provide tools and knowledge to future generations … Read More

Jo Boaler’s: What’s Math Got to Do with It?

The best thing we can teach students is to be quantitatively literate, think flexibly, and creatively solve problems.   What’s Math Got to Do with It? is an approachable overview of the state of the education system in the US and the current research underway to improve it. She writes in depth about many of the issues facing educators and students … Read More

Benedict Carey’s: How We Learn

Understanding how to harness the natural power of our brains can make learning easier.   How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens by Benedict Carey talks about the research behind learning and goes in depth about how to harness the natural power of our brains to aid learning. This kind of meta-approach helps us realize … Read More

Carol Dweck’s: Mindset

Mindset Matters: How we think about our abilities can dramatically influence our potential.   Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by psychologist Carol Dweck is an easy read. The chapters are well organized so you can read only what’s relevant –  although you may get sucked into reading the whole thing! A growth mindset describes an individual’s belief that he or … Read More

Paul Tough’s: How Children Succeed

Non-cognitive skills, such as perseverance, curiosity, and self-control, are just as important as cognitive ability to the success of an individual.   How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character is powerfully written and I loved reading it (and highly recommend to anyone interested in education). All the research behind the biological explanations for variation in achievement levels based … Read More