Top 10 Books About Education and Teaching

For as long as there have been teachers and students, authors have written books about education and teaching. Passing on the knowledge learned by previous generations has helped society to progress, and books about education and teaching help teachers learn how to teach more effectively. From the latest teaching techniques to strategies for dealing with problem students, books about education and teaching help to equip teachers with the skills necessary to prepare each class of students for the next phase of their lives.

However, not all books about education and teaching concentrate on teachers. Some books are aimed at parents and focus on preparing young students for classroom success. Other books focus on large national trends, helping to explain recent developments or advocating for a change to national teaching policies. Whether you’re a teacher trying to improve your skills or a concerned parent trying to help a student, books about education and teaching can help you learn more.

#1 – The First Days of School

Harry K Wong and Rosemary T. Wong

This general resource book for teachers offers something new to educators of all age groups and experience levels, including effective tips for classroom management and lesson planning. Teachers will also learn how to remain professional throughout the school year and maintain approachability for students in need of extra help.

#2 – How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This book, like many books about education and teaching, focuses on helping adults learn how to interact positively with children. Readers will learn new ideas on a number of important subjects, including how to end conflicts peacefully and how to express emotions without causing duress to the child.

#3 – Dumbing Us Down

John Taylor Gatto

As with other books about education and teaching, Dumbing Us Down offers a viewpoint from an experienced teacher. After teaching in New York City’s public school system for over 30 years, John Taylor Gatto published his radical opinion on the country’s compulsory education system. In his opinion, the current system does little to actually educate students and instead teaches them how to simply obey authority without critical thought.

#4 – Make it Stick

Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel

Make it Stick joins other books about education and teaching in criticizing simple memorization and rote learning as ineffective techniques for the modern student. Instead, students should learn how to retrieve information through a variety of useful techniques, including self-quizzes, reflecting on new material, mnemonic devices and more.

#5 – Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire

Rafe Esquith

After spending years teaching in a California school surrounded by violence and gangs, Rafe Esquith has learned how to help students excel despite their challenges. In this book, Esquith shares some of the methods that have helped him teach algebra and Shakespeare to fifth-graders. While reading this and other biographical books about education and teaching, teachers can find useful teaching techniques from the author’s personal experiences.

#6 – Teaching with Love and Logic

Jim Fay and David Funk

Classroom problems have inspired many books about education and teaching, and this book promises to help teachers learn how to handle situations that aren’t always covered in routine teacher training. The book explains simple concepts, such as how to encourage children to recognize the consequences of their actions. Teachers can also learn how to create a classroom of respect and empathy for all of their students.

#7 – In Defense of a Liberal Education

Fareed Zakaria

According to the author of this book, liberal arts degrees, such as art history, are declining in popularity. Fareed Zakaria argues that the value of these degrees is being overlooked in today’s job market. Liberal arts degrees can help people learn how to engage in discourse, write effectively and think independently.

#8 – Why Don’t Students Like School?

Daniel T. Willingham

Teaching students who dislike school is a challenge for any teacher. With the help of this book about teaching and learning, teachers can discover how establishing routines and context can help students connect with classroom material. The author also argues that while students do have different intelligence levels, intelligence is a skill that can be improved with work.

#9 – The First-Year Teacher’s Survival Guide

Julia G. Thompson

Designed for new teachers, this guidebook about education and learning is packed with resources to help teachers deal with a number of topics, including parents who disagree with homework assignments and changes in testing standards. The book includes worksheets and checklists to help teachers better organize themselves.

#10 – What the Best College Teachers Do

Ken Bain

In order to discover the qualities of teachers that students remember years after graduation, Ken Bain used a 15-year study that analyzed almost 100 teachers and their teaching styles. He concludes that memorable teachers make an impact because of what they know instead of how they teach. Unlike the authors of many books about education and teaching, who advocate for particular teaching styles, Bain argues that expert knowledge makes a college teacher memorable.