Summer Reads for Early Childhood Educators

Last year, I shared a list of favorite early childhood books for teachers.  This year, I'm sharing a preview of what I'm planning to read: a mix of old favorites and new publications.

If you have read any of these, please let me know in the comments- I'd love some firsthand reviews.  Please share your own recommendations, too - I can be convinced to add more to my reading list!

Making Learning Visible

I have read quite a few parts of this text, but this summer, I’m planning to do a full read.  I am really interested in how these principles apply to early childhood education in general - the ideas are tightly held by the Reggio Inspired, but I feel that the idea of making learning visible has become more universal as we communicate best practices to coworkers, parents, and the community.  I am also interested in learning more about teacher research and the process of gathering information and observing children at work and play.  (Amazon / WorldCat)


The Informed Vision: Essays on Learning and Human Nature

This is the summer where I get more Hawkins in my life.  I read David Hawkins' essay 'Messing About in Science' a few months ago, and his ideas about playful, open-ended explorations in science really resonated with me.  This is a book of essays, making it a bit easier to digest in small portions throughout the summer. (Amazon / WorldCat)


Savage Park: A Meditation on Play, Space, and Risk for Americans who are Nervous, Distracted, and Afraid to Die

"How fully can the world be explored," asks Amy Fusselman, "if you are also trying not to die?"  Risk and freedom to explore in early childhood are so closely related to my Play Lab work, and I spend a lot of time talking to parents about these ideas during Play Lab installations.  This seems to me like one of those topics we could all stand to be a bit more articulate about.  (Amazon / WorldCat)


Working in the Reggio Way

I am finally getting around to reading Julianne Wurm's 2005 text on her experiences working in Reggio classrooms.  I plan to keep it in my beach bag and bedside.  Her book is especially interesting to me because it incorporates a reflective aspect, asking readers to stop, think, write, and then come back to the book.  With the ever-increasing popularity of the Reggio Emilia Approach, I'm looking forward to reading a voice that facilitates the difficult translation of the Italian approach into North American contexts.  (Amazon / WorldCat)

Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student

I have dabbled a little bit in my exploration of Design Thinking, but I want to know more to see if it is something that I can apply to my work both teaching children and teaching teachers.  How might the design thinking process assist teachers and children?  What does it look like in different contexts?   (Amazon)


The Importance of Being Little


This book got all sorts of media outlets talking about early childhood education earlier this year.  From NPR to The Atlantic, Christakis' book finally began a louder conversation about the process of play and exploration being more important than crafty products.  I'm looking forward to reading her articulation of these ideas.  (Amazon / WorldCat)


Happy Reading!