Lately I have noticed a bit of a trend that I sincerely hope becomes more of a norm in education than the many learning fads I constantly see come and go. More and more educators are looking at reading books that serve a number of professional learning interests, but these books are also more for their own personal growth beyond being an educator. In many of the workshops and lectures I give regarding race, equity, culture, and diversity I often share one of my personal goals, that I have done a decent job sticking to, is to read a book a week. It may seem like a lot but it really isn't if you look for books that are going to serve a professional growth or personal interest purpose.
Recently I've had a number of Educators ask me for book recommendations based upon conversations I have had with them in person or via social media. The cool thing is many have finished one recommendation only to ask for another. So I thought it would be helpful if I were able to collect a series of recommendations into one convenient place and give some contextual analysis around the books themselves and what thematic purpose they may serve. In one of the many, but not enough, conversations I had with my close friend Dee Lanier we looked at creating a thematic focus for series of books so educators would understand the underlying meaning of them together. Dee is also working on an expansion pack for his Smashboard Edu card decks that will provide educators with a framework on how to engage in more meaningful and deeper conversations on the topics of race, culture, and equity. I will share a link in a future post once the project is ready for launch. Until then, the overarching themes are as follows:
In this post we will take a closer (no pun intended) look at the theme of the telescopes. These are books that bring a closer more condensed perspective on history and the life experience. In some cases they also provide a better "view" on things in the past that we have either not seen, were hidden from us, or have been purposely overlooked. Among the many books in this thematic category the listing Dee and I have found personally beneficial and have suggested to read are: