New Books that Excite Us Right Now
Child Psychology in Twelve Questions
By Professor Paul Harris
(OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS)
Written for the general reader who wants to learn about the field of developmental psychology and based on an intro course Professor Paul Harris has taught at the Ed School for more than 20 years, Child Psychology is a straightforward look at what Harris considers to be some of the most enduring questions in child psychology. “This is a somewhat idiosyncratic introduction to the psychology of the child,” Harris writes, “not an exhaustive overview: Rough Guide, rather than Michelin.” Each chapter focuses on one question and includes research related to the topic and discussions of why Harris finds the question important. Harris also addresses the uncertainties that continue to linger around the various questions, such as do children actually live in a fantasy world? How do they learn words? And, can we trust children’s memory? (Listen to the Harvard EdCast with Paul Harris.)
Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education
By Jessica Lander, Ed.M.’15
As a teacher in a diverse high school north of Boston, where her students come from more than 30 countries, Jessica Lander’s work has centered on a fundamental question: How do we ensure that immigrants feel safe, supported, and valued, and with the chance to put down roots and build futures so they can become full participants in their new home? In an effort to see how other educators approached this question, Lander set out across the country, sitting in on classes and hearing stories. She also asked some of her former students to tell her about their journeys to the United States and their evolving understanding of their place in America. Lander also weaves in key historical moments that have shaped immigrant education.
Behind Their Screens: What Teens Are Facing (and Parents Are Missing)
By Emily Weinstein, Ed.M.’14, Ed.D.’17, and Carrie James, Project Zero Research Associate
One of the first questions authors Emily Weinstein and Carrie James ask in their new book is, “What are teens actually doing on their smartphones?” The common assumption is that they’re wasting time and missing out on the real world. But that’s not necessarily the case. Drawing on a multiyear project that surveyed more than 3,500 teens, the authors say that young people are continuously trying to figure out how to navigate the complicated, networked world they have grown up in. They need empathy, not exasperated eye-rolling. As Publishers Weekly wrote in their review of the book, “The authors’ research is impressive. ... Parents and educators losing sleep over what’s happening online would do well to give this a look.” (Listen to the Harvard EdCast with Carrie James and Emily Weinstein.)
Entry Planning for Equity-Focused Leaders: Empowering Schools and Communities
By Senior Lecturer Jennifer Cheatham; Rodney Thomas; and Adam Parrott-Sheffer, Ed.M.’09
(HARVARD EDUCATION PRESS)
For Jennifer Cheatham, one of the most important lessons she learned during her career as a district leader was the need for intentional planning when new school and community leaders “entered” their jobs, especially those committed to equity. Beginnings matter, she says, and thought-out steps taken during the first few months on the job build trust and help new leaders gain important insights into the community where they will be working. Being intentional also creates a strong foundation for an equitable transformation within a system. Geared toward practitioners such as superintendents, principals, and project managers, Entry Planning offers case studies, interviews, toolkits, and exercises that will help new leaders start out on the right foot. (Listen to the Harvard EdCast with Jennifer Cheatham and Carl Cohn.)
Everyone Wins!: The Evidence for Family-School Partnerships and Implications for Practice
By Anne Henderson; Senior Lecturer Karen Mapp; Stephany Cuevas, Ed.M.’15, Ed.D.’18; Martha Franco, Ed.M.’15; and Suzanna Ewert, Ed.M.’21
As the title of this new book makes clear and decades of evidence confirm, when schools actively engage families in their student’s education, everyone wins. Student achievement goes up, families feel more connected and heard, and teachers and other educators can do their jobs better and reach students where they are. With a sharp focus on equity and written by leaders in the family-school world, Everyone Wins is both a practical, easyto- use guidebook and action plan for schools and districts wanting to better support family-school partnerships, and a readable roundup of the latest research on what it truly means for teachers and other educators at schools to become partners with their families.
The Instructional Leadership Cycle
By Daniel Allen, Ed.M.’11; Foreword by Lee Teitel, Ed.D.’88
(HARVARD EDUCATION PRESS)
As author Daniel Allen explains in this, his first book, the instructional leadership cycle is a way to guide K–12 school leaders and teachers over the course of a school year toward transforming and improving their classrooms. The book is rooted, he says, in the idea that as our modern society grows more complex, students must develop more sophisticated analytical and problem-solving skills if they want to be successful. In order for schools to meet this challenge, school leaders need to move beyond just strategic planning and instead develop a vision for their school and then set that vision in motion. As Allen notes, schools need to be in “the business of learning” — they need to adapt to changes, analyze their own actions, and learn to identify gaps and problems that get in the way of both teaching and learning.