Recommended Books – Teaching and Learning

There are some excellent books that every educator should study.  I will provide a list on this page.  Some have weathered the test of time and others are quite recent.

Brown, Peter C. (2014-04-14). Make It Stick, Harvard University Press.
Available at Amazon

My Comment:
It should be the first book in the study of current knowledge about learning and memory.
If this book does not get you excited you should not be in education.

Henry L. “Roddy” Roediger III is an American psychology researcher in the area of human learning and memory. Washington University St. Louis, MO.

Mark A. McDaniel is an American psychology researcher in the area of human learning and memory.  Washington University St. Louis, MO.

Peter C. Brown is writer and novelist in St. Paul, MN.Lang, James M. (2016). Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons for the Science of Learning  Available at  Amazon
My Comment:
A MUST READ AFTER reading “Make It Stick”
He reviews much of the current cognitive science and relates it to specific teaching techniques. Puts the research into practice.
James M. Lang is Professor of English and the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.
Professor Lang is the author of five books and more than a hundred reviews or essays, on topics ranging from higher education to British literature.
In this book Professor Lang presents a number of small easy to implement practices based on the most current cognitive science. He directs his comments toward college and university teachers, but each of his techniques can easily be adapted to high school.
For starters every teacher should study the books “Make It Stick” and “Small Learning”.Willingham, Daniel T. (2009-06-10). Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom.  Available at Amazon
My Comment:
It should be the second book in the study of current knowledge about learning and memory.   Professor Willingham is well respected in the cognitive science community.  His work is frequently cited by others.
Daniel T. Willingham is a psychologist at the University of Virginia, where he is a professor in the Department of Psychology. Willingham’s research focuses on the application of findings from cognitive psychology and neuroscience to K-12 education.Willis M.D., Judith (2006). Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher.  Available at Amazon
My Comment:
Very good book. Clear explanations. Advances in neuroimaging and brain-mapping yield astonishing insights into the learning process.
Dr. Judy Willis, is on the adjunct faculty of the University of California Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education. She travels nationally and internationally giving presentations, workshops, and consulting about learning and the brain. Dr. Willis is a board-certified neurologist with 15 years as a practicing neurologist and ten subsequent years as a classroom teacher. She has published seven books about applying neuroscience research to classroom teaching strategies. Stahl, Steven A. (1999)Vocabulary Development (From Reading Research to Practice, V. 2) Available at Amazon 
A Review: Even though VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT has a 1999 copyright, the content is still both relevant and useful. This thin book is part of the series titled From Reading Research to Practice, A Series for Teachers. VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT was written by the late Steven Stahl, an eminent reading researcher.VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT is written for teachers, but adult students will find it accessible.

Dr. Steven A. Stahl.  Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois. Dr. Stahl teaches courses in reading education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is Co-director of the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he was a special education teacher in New York and Maine. He has conducted research in many aspects of reading education and has a long-standing interest in beginning reading instruction and vocabulary instruction. At the time this book was written, Dr.Stahl was a Professor of Reading Education at the University of Georgia.
Carey, Benedict (2014). How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens.  Available at Amazon
Review Comments: This book has a great way of explaining how our brains work and he puts it in terms that are easy to understand. This book would be a great tool for all teachers to read to understand how students learn. It gives great ways to increase learning and skills in the classroom.


   Benedict Cary is an American journalist and reporter on medical and science topics for The New York TimesSusan A. Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, Marie K. Norman (2010) How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching.  Available at Amazon
My Comment: Foreword by Richard Mayer.

 Dr. Susan A. Ambrose is currently Professor of Education and History and Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Experiential Learning at Northeastern University. She earned her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, and served as Associate Provost for Education, Director of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, and a Teaching Professor in the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon before joining Northeastern in August 2012.

Keith Devlin (2012). Introduction to Mathematical Thinking. Kindle Edition. Available at Amazon
From Review: I really believe that the author is on a sincere mission to teach mathematical thinking and reasoning in general. I am reading the book and the concepts again and it is clearer to me the second time around. I have also take several math and statistics courses and I wish I had a base in Mathematical Thinking before I studied these subjects – this would have saved a lot angst over the abstract nature of learning mathematical procedures. I learned and forgot lot of these procedures but I now understand the reasoning for these procedures.
Dr. Keith Devlin is a mathematician at Stanford University in California. He is a co-founder and Executive Director of the university’s H-STAR institute, a co-founder of the Stanford Media X research network, and a Senior Researcher at CSLI. He has written 31 books and over 80 published research articles.
He is “the Math Guy” on National Public Radio.
He writes a monthly column for the Mathematical Association of America, “Devlin’s Angle”:
Along with many other awards and several research interests.

Anderson, Lorin W., David R. Krathwohl (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
My Comments: An excellent revision of the classic known as Bloom’s Taxonomy.
A solid reference for every educator.

Lorin W. Anderson is a Carolina Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he served on the faculty from August, 1973, until his retirement in August, 2006.  He holds a Ph.D. in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis from the University of Chicago, where he was a student of Benjamin S. Bloom.

David R. Krathwohl (born May 14, 1921) is an American educational psychologist who has served education in a multitude of settings. While studying with Benjamin Bloom, he co-authored the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, (known simply as Bloom’s Taxonomy)

Gagné, Robert Mills Principles of Instructional Design (Fourth 1974 or Fifth Edition 2004)

My Comments:  The fourth edition is probably hard to find and the fifth edition is probably better by virtue of being updated.

I still prefer his definition of instruction: “Instruction is a deliberately arranged set of external events designed to support internal learning processes.”

Robert Mills Gagné (August 21, 1916 – April 28, 2002) was an American educational psychologist best known for his “Conditions of Learning”. Gagné pioneered the science of instruction.