books on education

The Top Ten Must-Read Books on Education

Books on education have forged their own genre of non-fiction out of the recent introduction of “unconventional thinking.” Though they fall under the label of education, these books can teach a reader much more, from how to embrace unconventionality to understanding the mechanics of the adolescent brain. Here are the top ten books on education, hand-picked by EdTech Times.

The Top Ten Must-Read Books on Education

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman outlines the two systems we use to think: one is quick, intuitive, and more emotional, while the other is slower, but more logical. Every impact of cognitive bias can be traced back to these two thinking systems. Kahneman is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, and Thinking, Fast and Slow, has won the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award.

2. Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, by Daniel J. Siegel

In Brainstorm, Siegel describes the brain development that affects teen behavior. 12-24 is a crucial time period, as the brain changes in ways that can be difficult for a young person to deal with. Siegel wants to put a more positive spin on adolescence by outlining what parents and teachers can do to make teenagers feel less isolated.

3. How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough

Prominent New York Times journalist Paul Tough explores characteristics that help children succeed. As it turns out, intelligence isn’t only measured through standardized and classroom testing. Tough argues that the qualities of success lie in character.

4. Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

In Show Your Work! Kleon teaches you how to stand out in your network. He emphasizes that being discovered is not about self-promotion, but rather self-discovery.

5. Lean In (For Graduates), by Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg’s Lean In offers advice for recent graduates entering the workforce. Covering everything from drafting a cover letter to negotiating your salary, Lean In aims to prepare graduates for the “real world.”

6. The Whole-Brain Child, by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

In The Whole-Brain Child, neuropsychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting specialist Tina Payne Bryson approach raising children in a new way. The book lists the top twelve strategies that involve brain development, which will lead to children who feel happier and calmer.

7. You Are Not Special, by David McCullough

McCullough elaborates on his famous commencement speech in an expanded letter to college graduates. Taking on everything from helicopter parents to distractions in the classroom, McCullough encourages students to acknowledge that the world is indifferent to them. This encourages students to be satisfied with their skills, preparing them to be more successful.

8. How to Write Anything, by Laura Brown

In her new book, Laura Brown guides you through writing everything from cover letters to personal essays. Whether it’s at work, at school, or for your own interest, Brown has it covered in How to Write Anything.

9. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant

In his new book, Grant highlights the importance of going against the grain and being an “original thinker.” Using studies, Grant outlines how to identify a good idea, and how parents and teachers can encourage originality at home and in the classroom.

10. The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness, by Todd Rose.

In The End of Average, Harvard’s Todd Rose tells us why relying on averages, such as GPA and test scores, is the wrong way to measure intelligence. His alternative route features three critical methods to help us understand what it means to be unique.

Whether you work in edtech or you’re an interested parent, teacher, or student, these books will open up your mind to the many philosophies behind education. Knowing that your thinking is different from your peers can be isolating and alienating. If you find that your learning process is a little different than what is taught, there are ways to utilize those processes that will make you feel more useful in the classroom, workplace, and at home.

Sarah Samel

Sarah Samel

Sarah Samel is an Emerson College senior Writing, Literature and Publishing student focusing on young adult fiction. When she’s not browsing bookstores, she’s blogging or jotting down ideas for new poems and stories.