What books would you recommend for a primary school teacher?

Facebook is awash with challenges from ice-buckets to listing how you’re grateful for the last few days. Another one of these that’s going around is the challenge to list 10 books that have influenced your life in some way. The challenge continues to say that the books do not have to be literary masterpieces and to tag some other people who you’d like to take up the challenge. So far, I’ve escaped but I thought I’d do my own education version of this. If anyone, fancies taking up the challenge, feel free to do so in the comments.

Beginning teaching, beginning learning in primary education – Janet R Moyles

This was the first book on my reading list in teacher training and on the first chapter, I was hooked. The concept of the various psychologies of the classroom from how one lays out the tables to how one moves about the room got me started thinking about the complexities of the classroom environment.

Grown Up Digital – Don Tapscott

This changed my mind about schools. The current way schools are generally doesn’t suit today’s 21st century learners. Tapscott talks about the things that this generation of learners need. He argues that the gap between this generation and the one before it is larger than that of pre and post World War 2 generations. This book has shaped everything I think about when I think about education today.

ICT in the Primary Classroom – Dublin West Education Centre

These books are in every school in the country and are some of the best books to integrate ICT into teaching. It would be great if more people knew about them.

Mind Maps for Kids – Tony Buzan

This is another book that blew me away when I found it by accident. I have used it extensively in my classes for brainstorming, planning and helping children to colour-code and remember anything they are learning.

Quality Circle Time – Jenny Mosley

Before this book, classroom management, for me, was an arbitrary mix of ideas. This book tied everything together and I never had any (major) disciplinary problems in any of my classes after reading it and using it properly. It was so influential to me, that when I became principal of my school, it was instantly adopted as the whole school behaviour system.

Multiple Intelligences – Howard Gardner

How do children learn? Apart from Tapscott’s work, this book helped me to identify the talents of children in my class and how they learn. All my planning for classes changed after reading this book as part of my studies. Differentiation was never an issue again.

Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas – Seymour Papert

To be fair, I didn’t read the whole of this book as I couldn’t find it but I got to read excerpts of it and more about Papert’s theories of constructionism. This man has brought us Lego Mindstorms, Logo and Scratch. While already deemed to be one of the most influential educators in the world, for me, he is the most important.

Teaching Number in the Classroom with 4-8 year olds – Robert J Wright

I could have chosen a number of books about Maths but this one, I feel, gets the foundations right. I like the way it helped me bring mathematical concepts from the concrete to the abstract well.

Displays for All Seasons – Judith Makoff

Displays were a big deal when I was training in the UK, and with good reason. The importance of good displays in a classroom cannot be emphasised enough. One can instantly see the difference in a classroom that has good displays. This book was the first of this series that I used and got inspiration from.

The Revised Primary Curriculum – NCCA

This set of books continues to affect my life. Some of the books are amazing – music, art and maths, in particular and some of them are just terrible – English, Drama and Irish for me. Others are ok. However, like it or not, my job relies on them and, while they are generally outdated, sometimes you’ll still find a gem or a pearl of wisdom when you didn’t think it possible after more than a decade of teaching.

Comments (10)

  1. Merry Beau 15th September 2014 at 10:47 pm Reply

    An interesting list, from the philosophy of education to the practicalities.

    Liked ‘your call’ on the curriculum books. Agree whole heartedly with your choice of Howard Gardner.

    With the exception of Moyles, Mosley and Buzan, I’m unfamiliar with your other choices but will keep an eye out for them now.

    If I’d to name three books that influenced my teaching I’d say
    – Alvin Toffler’s ‘Future Shock’,
    – ‘Self Esteem: A Classroom Affair, 101* Ways to Help Children Like Themselves’ by Michele and Craig Borba
    and
    – ‘Does It Have To Rhyme?’ by Sandy Brownjohn
    Once again thanks for the ‘food for thought’.

    1. admin 16th September 2014 at 8:01 pm Reply

      Thanks for the comment. I must check out your recommendations. It’s amazing how many good books there are on educational matters.

  2. EMILY KELLY 19th September 2014 at 6:11 am Reply

    Thanks for the post…books are a useful companion and will certainly help up build the way of teaching

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Minister Bruton launches 2018 Digital Plan for Schools

Somehow, I missed this announcement last week even so it contains 80 actions and

Anseo.net Predictions for 2017

Every year, I try to predict what the big stories will be in primary

How to make denominational schools more inclusive

Around 96% of Irish primary schools are under the patronage of a religious body,

Primary Schools: Inclusive or Tolerant?

As most people know, there are a number of parents in Ireland who have

Infographic of Survey on Inclusiveness

I developed an infographic based on the data received from my survey on how

How inclusive are Catholic Schools?

Recently, The Irish Independent carried an article with the headline, Catholic Schools are as inclusive

Is it ethical to publish League Tables?

The Irish Independent published, what they called, a definitive league table of the best schools

The Mathematics of Patronage and Pluralism

Between 96% and 98% of Irish primary schools are denominational in patronage, which means

2016 Predictions

As we come to the last day of year, it is traditional at Anseo.net to make predictions

What will removing Rule 68 actually do?

One of the rules of National Schools that has been causing much debate over

Multidenominational: A long word, long-abused

The education landscape used to be an easy one to maneuver. Between the 1920s

Can the new NCCA Ethics Curriculum work in Ireland?

It always strikes me as odd the stories about primary education that get noticed

Why Pluralism in Education Doesn’t Work

I was listening to a debate on the radio about the Angelus last week.

Thoughts on the Digital Strategy

The Digital Strategy for Schools 2015-2020 is the latest attempt by the government to

Should we be Celebrating the 1916 Rising?

Earlier this week, two army officials came to my school to present us with

An Alternative to Droichead

Following my blog post on Droichead last week, I thought I might expand on my

Droichead: A bridge too far

Droichead is a new model of induction and probation for newly qualified teachers, which

Burren National School: A symbol of the divestment process

Today, Educate Together announced that the proposed new Educate Together school in Castlebar was

Where do unbaptised children fit in?

I’ve been following the recent discussions about unbaptised children accessing primary education over the last

Who are the role models in primary schools?

Last weekend, I was part of a panel at the Excited Festival of Learning

Why We’re Voting Yes to Marriage Equality

Commenting on referenda is not something that we generally do at Anseo.net but the

Should schools be allowed to discriminate?

The headline grabber from the INTO congress was Jan O’Sullivan’s announcement that new enrollment

Denominational Schools and the Upcoming Marriage Referendum

The upcoming referendum on marriage equality has sparked some conversation among teachers who work

Why we don’t need to start teaching coding in primary schools

Ciaran Cannon is one of the most innovative politicians I know and he is

Primary Schools and Broadband: The biggest issue in education today?

Following on from a conversation on the wonderful CESI list, I thought I would

A short guide to religion in primary schools

Over the last number of years, the population of Ireland has changed. One of the

Why we should care about Ireland’s Human Rights Record in Education

Last week, the Irish government was given a major slap on the wrist for

Fitness to teach is all about motivating teachers to love their job-Part 2

Self-actualisation and flow In my first post on performance-related pay, I spoke about the process

Cutting the cost of school uniforms? Why not cut them altogether?

Irish parents are to be balloted on school uniforms in the coming weeks in

How to save the Irish language

One of the most popular conversations I have with non-teachers is about the Irish

Do we need Teaching Council 2.0?

It hasn’t been the best couple of months for the Teaching Council. Established six

Douglas Adams, The Fourth R and Learning

I was happy to see that technology was on the agenda at the annual

12 reasons to have Computerised Roll Books

Imagine it’s 11:30am on June 30th.  What are you doing?  Apart from trying to

What have the Teaching Council ever done for us?

Have recently discovered Inside Education on 103.2 Dublin City FM. Simon introduced me to

Why Blogging is Best – a digiteach article

I was asked to write a follow-up article about my workshop at this year’s

Ask Us A Question

You will get a notification email when Knowledgebase answerd/updated!

+ = Verify Human or Spambot ?