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Books & Authors

The Power of Education

Tara Westover’s recent memoir, “Educated,” is an incredible story about the ability of education to empower, self-actualize, and liberate the individual while also creating a stronger society. If you have yet to read it place a hold and get in line, and then read a few of the other books on this list that demonstrate the import of being earnestly educated.

 

"Educated: A Memoir," by Tara Westover

"Educated" is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

"Waiting for 'Superman': How We can Save America's Failing Pubilc Schools," edited by Karl Weber

Educators, parents, political leaders, business people, and concerned citizens are determined to save our educational system. Waiting for "Superman" offers powerful insights from some of those at the leading edge of educational innovation, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Michelle Rhee, Geoffrey Canada, and more

 

"Five Minds for the Future," by Howard Gardner

We live in a time of relentless change. The only thing that's certain is that new challenges and opportunities will emerge that are virtually unimaginable today. How can we know which skills will be required to succeed?

In "Five Minds for the Future," bestselling author Howard Gardner shows how we will each need to master "five minds" that the fast-paced future will demand.

"Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave," by Frederick Douglass

The preeminent American slave narrative first published in 1845, Frederick Douglass’s Narrative powerfully details the life of the abolitionist from his birth into slavery in 1818 to his escape to the North in 1838, how he endured the daily physical and spiritual brutalities of his owners and driver, how he learned to read and write, and how he grew into a man who could only live free or die.

"Pedagogy of the Oppressed," by Paulo Freire

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.

"I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World," by Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

"The Beautiful Risk of Education," by Gert Biesta

This is a book about what many teachers know but are increasingly being prevented from talking about: that real education always involves a risk. The risk is there because, as W. B. Yeats has put it, education is not about filling a bucket but about lighting a fire. It is there because students are not to be seen as objects to be molded and disciplined, but as subjects of action and responsibility.

"The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters," by Thomas M. Nichols

The rise of the internet and other technology has made information more easily-accessible than ever before. While this has had the positive effect of equalizing access to knowledge, it also has lowered the bar on what depth of knowledge is required to consider oneself an "expert." A cult of anti-expertise sentiment has coincided with anti-intellectualism, resulting in massively viral yet poorly informed debates ranging from the anti-vaccination movement to attacks on GMOs.

 

 

 

 

 

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