5 Must-Read Teaching, Learning Books

Ah, winter break. It’s the perfect time to visit with family, bake cookies — and read up on the latest strategies for teaching and learning.   

The Whistle asked Nancy Ruggeri, faculty development fellow in the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, to share her top five books that focus on teaching and learning.  

Below, Ruggeri shares her list of must-reads.

  • “Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom,” by Bell Hooks: In this book, Hooks asks educators to rethink teaching practices in an age of multiculturalism. The book is passionate and political but also offers practical knowledge of the classroom. Hooks challenges readers not only to reconsider who they are as teachers, but also who their students could be.
  • “Teaching What You Don’t Know,” by Therese Huston: This semester’s choice for the Georgia Tech Grapes of Wrath book group, the book is also relevant to faculty who teach within their expertise. Huston explores common instructional challenges and offers tips on everything from preparing for new courses to addressing questions you may not know the answer to in the classroom. She finds that teaching outside of your area is not often seen as a strength, but can be.
  • “The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life,” by Parker Palmer: Although Palmer’s book was written with college faculty in mind, it has also had an impact on K-12 teachers. He discusses the challenges of teaching and takes readers on an inner journey toward reconnecting with themselves, their students, their colleagues and vocations.
  • “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life,” by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander: Benjamin Zander was the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and is well known for his talents as a teacher and communicator. This book is co-authored with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander. Together they present 12 practices for bringing creativity into human endeavors by sharing stories and personal anecdotes.
  • “The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning,” by James Zull: In this book, Zull explains that educators can use knowledge from neuroscience and cognitive sciences to shape teaching practices. Zull conveys how the brain works and the ways this information can be used to effect learning in students.

For More Information Contact

Nancy Ruggeri
Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning