Fuel your CPD: Top tomes to spark innovation

We are absolutely delighted to share our latest resource with you!  

This is a CPD bookshelf of recommended reads around some of the key areas in education today. Starting with general books for education that we consider essential reads, we then have sections on leadership, teaching and learning – and of course, we couldn’t make a resource like this without including a series of recommendations for EdTech!  

We thought it would be useful for you to know what each book covers, so we’ve penned short reviews for each. And we couldn’t make the selections without having read the books, so know these are authentic choices. Here we go! 

Education 

A section on Education is a must and so here, we made choices that will inspire, help and frame, and reference some of the best books you might have heard of with a few you might not. Go explore! 

Square Pegs – Fran Morgan with Ellie Costello 

This was an easy choice to include. With so many disaffected and under-supported children in our education system, this book shares many useful, pragmatic and insightful ways to support young people. From psychological approaches to technological tools and more, this book is essential reading for all in education today.  

Teaching Rebooted – Jon Tait 

Jon Tait has been a prolific sharer over the years and, in this book, he shares in accessible ways many of the cognitive science approaches that can make a difference in your classroom.  

Education: The Rock and Roll Years – Les Walton 

To know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been. Walton’s perspectives on education in a historical context make this book a great read to know where we’ve been and where we can get to in education. 

Tips for Teachers – Craig Barton

Craig Barton certainly knows his stuff. After all, with his successful Mr Barton Maths podcast and, more recently, his podcast to go with this book (alongside his other best-sellers), this book is jam-packed with useful and helpful tips. It does what it says on the tin! 

How Learning Happens – Paul Kirschner and Carl Hendrick 

This is simply a fantastic book that deciphers some of the most important pieces of research and then how they can be applied in the classroom. Essential reading.  

Back on Track – Mary Myatt 

Friend of NetSupport and revered by all she works with, this book from Mary Myatt is often overlooked but is so important. Reflecting on how to do better with less, and facilitating deeper opportunities for learning, Myatt expertly shares approaches and ideas to help develop an ambitious curriculum for every child in every school.  

Leadership

Whether you’re in leadership or aspire to it, it can be a lonely role, so we chose books that can help, often talk from the heart, and are mindful of the context in which you work. We hope you find these choices useful.  

Leading Your International School – André Double and Warren Cook 

Leadership is difficult wherever you are, but leading a school internationally brings complexities and subtleties you don’t want to miss. Double’s book helps demystify that whilst offering helpful strategies.  

Rethinking School Inspection – Tracey O’Brien 

Timely, particularly given the current political landscape, O’Brien’s book offers lots of evidence and thinking around what school inspection could (and probably should!) look like. It also offers up lots of ideas on school improvement worthy of note. 

Critical Pedagogy – Tait Coles 

Whilst the strapline for Coles’ book is “a teacher’s companion” it is a book in the leadership section. Why? With so many marginalised pupils in our schools, Cole’s book is a clarion call for school leaders to reconsider how we teach. It’s well worth a read.  

Leadership Matters 3.0 – Andy Buck 

We simply love this book. Digestible, accessible and all grounded in the realities of leadership with actionable steps across the gamut of leadership activities, Buck’s book is superb.  

The Headteacher’s Handbook – Rae Snape 

An essential, helpful book aimed at helping Primary school headteachers, there’s still lots to take away from Snape’s book for all leaders. 

Leading Academy Trusts – Sir David Carter (with Laura McInerney) 

Having seen first-hand the impact Sir David has had on the schools and trusts that he has led makes this book resonate even more. It’s useful, pragmatic and an essential read for all those who aspire to or are in school leadership.  

My School #Governance Handbook – Al Kingsley 

This tome of a reckoner for all in school governance, this book should sit in the hands (not on the shelves) of all in leadership and governance. Pragmatic, considered and insanely useful, it’s an essential read 

Teaching and learning 

The cornerstone of any teacher’s practice, here we chose books that cover many of the key aspects of a teacher’s job. It was hard to choose with so many greats out there, from Berger’s “An Ethic of Excellence” to Nuthall’s “The Hidden Lives of Learners” – these would have been easy choices. Hopefully, these selections reflect a broad and balanced approach of books you may or may not have come across – all though, useful in their own way.  

Ausubel’s Meaningful Learning in Action – Sarah Cottinghatt 

Sherrington’s “In Action” series is exceedingly useful and this recent offering from Sarah Cottinghatt is no different. Taking Ausubel’s theory of learning, Cottinghatt expertly talks us through its implications related to prior learning and how we can adjust our practice to take account of that with our learners. It’s great.  

Bjork & Bjork’s Desirable Difficulties in Action – Jade Pearce and Isaac Moore 

Linking to the previous choice, Moore and Pearce have written a superb book which gives practical and pragmatic examples of how to embed desirable difficulties into our everyday teaching practice.   

Powerful Questioning – Michael Chiles 

Chiles’ work is superb and we could easily have placed any of his books on the virtual bookshelf. We picked this one as questioning is such a pivotal activity in the classroom which is covered so expertly in this brilliant book.  

Understanding How We Learn – Yana Weinstein 

Weinstein’s work – both with the ‘Learning Scientists’ and in her research – has been tireless and fundamental to much of the shifting of the dial in bringing the science of learning to the mainstream in education. This book reflects that and is one which should be in every teacher’s library.  

A Practical Guide to Pupil Wellbeing – Kirsten Colquhoun 

Not teaching and learning per se, but we are all teachers in loco parentis – and what parent wouldn’t want strategies and ideas to support pupil wellbeing? Colquhoun’s book helps with plentiful ideas and strategies to put wellbeing front and centre in your thinking.  

Responsive Coaching – Josh Goodrich 

Jam-packed with concrete examples to apply in coaching scenarios, Goodrich’s book is really helpful for anyone seeking to embed a coaching culture in their school.  

The Behaviour Manual – Sam Strickland 

Strickland’s books could have easily been featured numerous times in this resource. We picked this one as behaviour is so critical to success with teaching and learning. With more than 100 approaches included, for teachers struggling with poor behaviour, it’s a godsend and a lifeline.  

EdTech

Well, it wouldn’t be a resource from NetSupport if we didn’t include some great books about technology and its impactful use in education. We’re lucky to have two authors on the team which makes it all the more joyful for us to share books on the topic, including two of theirs! 

My Secret #EdTech Diary – Al Kingsley 

Of course, we’d say we love this book but don’t just take our word for it. With overwhelming positivity in the many reviews on Amazon about its practical, digestible and informative approach, Kingsley’s Diary is an essential read for all in education 

The EdTech Playbook – Mark Anderson and Olly Lewis 

This book is jam-packed with evidence-informed approaches to teaching and learning with technology, use cases and considerations for embedding AI into your everyday practice, alongside case studies from real practitioners.  

Elevate Equity in EdTech – Victoria Thompson 

Driven by the globally renowned ISTE standards, Thompson’s book is a roadmap for how you can effectively leverage EdTech to help the whole school community.  

Practical AI Strategies – Leon Furze 

As Ronseal book titles go, this one is among the best. Grounded in Furze’s research and hands-on work with AI, this is a brilliant book that all teachers looking to leverage AI to support and enhance teaching and learning will find useful.  

Digital for Good – Richard Culatta 

Culatta knows a thing or two about technology, and so he should as the CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). In this book, he shares the many ways we can leverage technology for good for our young people in an increasingly difficult and dangerous online world.  

Rewiring Education – John D Couch 

With a grounding in EdTech working at Apple, Couch’s book helps set a great historical context for evidence-informed approaches to using technology to support and enhance teaching and learning. It’s a great read and shares the promise of what is possible when good thinking about teaching, learning and technology is combined.  

Don’t Ditch That Tech – Matt Miller, Nate Ridgway and Angelia Ridgway, PhD 

Framed around how technology can support adaptive teaching, this book goes further than that. With pragmatic and helpful tips mired in personal experience, there are many takeaways to help educators make the most of the technology at their disposal to help learners.  

So, there you have it – 28 books for you to peruse and enjoy! 

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