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Dr. Michael J. Martirano's Reading List

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants — Malcolm Gladwell

Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a pebble and a sling-and ever since, the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won.

Or should he?

Smart Cities That Work for Everyone — 7 Keys to Education & Employment — Tom Vander Ark with Mary Ryerse

As the majority of the world's population becomes urban, cities must become centers of learning for young and old. Every person, organization and region needs to get smart — to skill up, learn more and build new capacities faster and cheaper than ever. In the long run, education is the economic development agenda. Innovative new tools and schools are making it possible for individuals, organizations and cities to boost learning outcomes. Most begin with leadership and an innovation mindset. This combination of persistence, entrepreneurship and a collaborative focus on impact can be taught in every classroom and encouraged in every city. This book was created from a two year investigation project launched to discover the civic formula required to dramatically boost learning outcomes and employability.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success — Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

As a highly recognized psychologist at Stanford University, Carol Dweck uses her research findings to unveil the "power of people's beliefs" to demonstrate that learning and success are the result of ones' "mindsets." In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Dweck provides readers with numerous connections between the impact of how a person views their ability to succeed to whether or not they actually do. More specifically, she places a large emphasis on the impact that thoughts people have of themselves result in their ability to succeed. She first defines the concept of mindset and then differentiates between the two types (fixed and growth). Dweck indicates that the "growth mindset" is identified as a means for leading people toward "focusing on development" so that "challenge and effort" become their norm for striving toward achievement, as opposed to functioning from a "fixed mindset" resulting in people placing the majority of their "focus on permanent traits," where "they quickly fear challenge and devalue effort."

Dweck in this book emphasizes that "with the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals — personal and professional. She "reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area."

Bully Nation: Why America's Approach to Childhood Aggression is Bad for Everyone — Susan Eva Porter, Ph.D.

In Bully Nation: Why America's Approach to Childhood Aggression is Bad for Everyone, Susan Eva Porter, Ph.D. examines the impact that bullying and the prevention of it has had on the nation. For 25 years, Dr. Porter has worked closely with students in schools on both the East and West coasts in areas ranging from health education to counseling services and even beyond into administration and consulting. In her book she "explains how our current bully language, school policies, and anti-bully activists are trying to address the problem of school bullying in ways that actually make problems worse." Her views regarding some existing policies about the treatment of children and adults are interpretive in this text as "unnecessary strife among all parties involved, and the impeded social development of the children involved, can be a byproduct of popular policies. Especially in middle-school years, children are in a stage of development that involves testing boundaries and learning to relate to others. They need to gain resilience that will enable them to function well as adults. Bullying is often addressed in ways that arrest the social development of both the "bully" and the "victim." This book is a must read for "school administrators, counselors, policymakers, teachers, psychologists, and parents. It is a much needed analysis with common-sense solutions to one of our nation's most mis-addressed problems."

The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum — Temple Grandin and Richard Panek

In this book Temple Grandin provides insight from a personal and scientific perspective of what it means to be a person with autism born during a time period when it was first being identified. She reveals not only the scientific evidence found in her brain as a person with autism, but also what she considers to be her strengths and weaknesses as a person identified to be on the autism spectrum.

"Temple Grandin reports from the forefront of autism science, bringing her singular perspective to a thrilling journey into the heart of the autism revolution. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are exploring innovative theories of what causes autism and how we can diagnose and best treat it. Grandin also highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the transformative effects we can have by treating autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting, she argues that raising and educating kids on the spectrum isn't just a matter of focusing on their weaknesses; in the science that reveals their long-overlooked strengths she shows us new ways to foster their unique contributions. The Autistic Brain is essential reading from the most respected and beloved voices in the field."

The Global Achievement Gap — Tony Wagner

"In The Global Achievement Gap, education expert Tony Wagner situates our school problems in the larger context of the demands of the global knowledge economy. With insights gained from visits to classrooms in leading suburban schools, he analyzes performance by considering the skills needed to get a good job and become a productive citizen. Highlighting discussions with young people and the adults who work with them, Wagner also explains the ways in which today's generation is differently motivated to excel." This book takes readers on a journey to a change in education that focuses less on the "Old World of School" and more on the "New World of School." It provides specific details regarding Wagner's "Seven Survival Skills for the twenty-first century: 1) critical thinking and problem solving; 2) collaboration across networks and leading by influence; 3) agility and adaptability; 4) initiative and entrepreneurialism; 5) effective oral and written communication; 6) accessing and analyzing information; 7) curiosity and imagination."

"A manifesto for the twenty-first century, The Global Achievement Gap is a must-read for anyone interested in seeing our young people achieve their full potential."

Drive — Daniel H. Pink

"According to Daniel H. Pink, everything we think we know about what motivates us is wrong. In Drive, he pits the latest scientific discoveries about the mind against the outmoded wisdom that claims people can only be motivated by the hope of gain and the fear of loss. Pink cites a dizzying number of studies revealing that carrot and stick can actually significantly reduce the ability of workers to produce creative solutions to problems. What motivates us once our basic survival needs are met is the ability to grow and develop, to realize our fullest potential. Drawing on research in psychology, economics and sociology, Pink's analysis and new model of motivation offers tremendous insight into our deepest nature."

The Talent Code — Daniel Coyle

"Journalist Daniel Coyle travels the world to discover the truth about talent in this fascinating account that studies how individuals can unlock their full potential and bring their talents to light. The discoveries put forth by Coyle in The Talent Code come down to three main elements: coaching, motivation and practice. While these hardly seem like breakthroughs, Coyle's discovery process proves fascinating. Providing detailed examples from a variety of different sources, Coyle's work becomes as motivational as the stories he presents."

Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life — Annette Lareau

"This study offers valuable insights into contemporary family life in poor, working class, and middle class American households. Annette Lareau, an assistant sociology professor at the University of California, shadowed 12 diverse families for about a month, aiming for intensive naturalistic observation of parenting habits and family culture. According to Lareau, working class and poor children accept financial limits, seldom talk back, experience far less sibling rivalry and are noticeably free of a sense of entitlement. Middle class children, on the other hand, become adept at ensuring that their selfish needs are met by others and are conversant in social mores such as shaking hands, looking people in the eye and cooperating with others. Both methods of child rearing have advantages and disadvantages, she says: middle class kids may be better prepared for success at school, but they're also likely to be more stressed; and working class and poor kids may have closer family ties, but sometimes miss participating in extracurricular activities. This is a careful and interesting investigation of life in the land of opportunity and the land of inequality."

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates — Wes Moore

"Two hauntingly similar boys take starkly different paths in this searing tale of the ghetto. Wes Moore, an investment banker, Rhodes scholar, and former aide to Condoleezza Rice, was intrigued when he learned that another Wes Moore, his age and from the same area of Greater Baltimore, was wanted for killing a cop. Meeting his double and delving into his life reveals deeper likenesses: raised in fatherless families and poor black neighborhoods, both felt the lure of the money and status to be gained from dealing drugs. That the author resisted the criminal underworld while the other Wes drifted into it is chalked up less to character than to the influence of relatives, mentors, and expectations that pushed against his own delinquent impulses, to the point of exiling him to military school. Moore writes with subtlety and insight about the plight of ghetto youth, viewing it from inside and out; he probes beneath the pathologies to reveal the pressures—poverty, a lack of prospects, the need to respond to violence with greater violence—that propelled the other Wes to his doom. The result is a moving exploration of roads not taken."

Leave No Child Behind — Dr. James Comer, M.D.

"Dr. James Comer, M.D., a child psychiatrist who founded the School Development Program (known for many years as the Comer Process) at the Yale Child Study Center in 1968, reiterates the wise assumption behind his decades of educational work: that "development and learning are inextricably linked." Leave No Child Behind takes its name from the ideals of the Children's Defense Fund, not the controversial school-reform policy. Comer reminds teachers and administrators that some children have experiences that hinder school readiness and eagerness to learn; schools must therefore strive to encourage emotional growth, not just better test scores. And especially for low- income students, Comer argues, higher scores aren't enough: these students "need... skills that are gained through meaningful interactions with meaningful caretakers from birth through maturity." If educators must address problems they did not create, Comer says, they need more training in how to "read" children as individuals and must thus better teach them. Comer also calls on parents to provide environments in which children feel valued. Amid the loud chorus of cries against standardized testing, Comer offers a clear and confident voice of change."

Please Stop Laughing at Me — Jodie Blanco

"Jodee Blanco was once a troubled child, tormented by her school mates. In Please Stop Laughing at Me, Blanco describes how she was first victimized in a Roman Catholic grammar school because she defended some deaf children when they were picked on by hearing students. She gave the names of the ringleaders of this cruel activity to one of the nuns, and was subsequently ostracized by former friends for being a tattletale. After Blanco transferred to another school, she continued a pattern of reporting bad behavior to authority figures and became a true outsider. The author's courageous and honest memoir of the years spent as the victim of her contemporaries points smartly to the inability of adults to deal with issues of serious bullying."

Good to Great — Jim Collins

"Based on a five-year research project, Good to Great answers the question: "Can a good company become a great company, and, if so, how?". True to the rigorous research methodology and Invigorating teaching style of Jim Collins, Good to Great teaches how even the dowdiest of companies can make the leap to outperform market leaders the likes of Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck."

Leading in a Culture of Change — Michael Fullan

"Business, nonprofit, and public sector leaders are facing new and daunting challenges — rapid- paced developments in technology, sudden shifts in the marketplace, and crisis and contention in the public arena. If they are to survive in this chaotic environment, leaders must develop the skills they need to lead effectively no matter how fast the world around them is changing. Leading in a Culture of Change offers new and seasoned leaders insights into the dynamics of change and presents a unique and imaginative approach for navigating the intricacies of the change process."

Transformational Leadership — Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio

"Transformational Leadership is intended for both the scholars and serious students of leadership. It is a comprehensive review of theorizing and an empirical research that can serve as a reference and starting point for additional research on the theory. It can be used as a supplementary textbook in an intense course on leadership — or as a primary text in a course or seminar focusing on transformational leadership."

Emotional Intelligence — Daniel Goleman

"In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman argues that human competencies like selfawareness, self-discipline, persistence, and empathy are of greater consequence than IQ in much of life, that we ignore the decline in these competencies at our peril, and that children can — and should — be taught these abilities."

Encouraging the Heart — James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

"Leadership authorities James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner say employees perform best when their contributions are genuinely appreciated. Unfortunately, the two contend, most executives have not mastered the decidedly soft-management skill of encouragement that fosters such behavior. In Encouraging the Heart, they examine how this type of compassionate supervision is becoming a critical part of successful management today, and through example and suggestion they describe how readers can establish the process in their own businesses."

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen R. Covey

"In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey shows us that by changing the way we look at ourselves and the world around us, we can become more successful both personally and professionally. He defines the "Seven Habits" as the intersection of knowledge, skill, and desire and states that the "Seven Habits" of the title are not mutually exclusive, but rather when developed together, help to form a well-rounded, sensitive, confident and effective human being."

The Speed of Trust — Stephen M. R. Covey

"From Stephen R. Covey's eldest son comes a revolutionary new path towards productivity and satisfaction. Trust, says Stephen M. R. Covey, is the very basis of the new global economy, and he shows how trust—and the speed at which it is established with clients, employees and constituents—is the essential ingredient for any high-performance, successful organization. For business leaders and public figures in any arena, The Speed of Trust offers an unprecedented and eminently practical look at exactly how trust functions in our every transaction and relationship — from the most personal to the broadest, most indirect interaction — and how to establish trust immediately so that you and your organization can forego the time-killing, bureaucratic check-and-balance processes so often deployed in lieu of actual trust."

A Whole New Mind — Daniel H. Pink

"A Whole New Mind charts the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economies and explains the six abilities individuals and organizations must master in an outsourced and automated world. Reviewers have described the book as an "audacious and powerful work", a "profound read", "right on the money", and a "miracle". Several publications named it one of the best business books of the year. A Whole New Mind has sold more than 100,000 copies in the U.S. and has been translated into 12 languages."

Blink — Malcolm Gladwell

"Blink is about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. This book is about those two seconds which Malcolm Gladwell believes are really powerful and really important."

The Tipping Point — Malcolm Gladwell

"The Tipping Point is an intellectual adventure story written with an infectious enthusiasm for the power and joy of new ideas. Most of all, it is a road map to change, with a profoundly hopeful message — that one imaginative person applying a well-placed lever can move the world."

Outliers: The Story of Success — Malcolm Gladwell

"In this book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of 'outliers' — the best and the brightest, the most famous, and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate."

Fish! — Steven Lundin

"Here's another management parable that draws its lesson from an unlikely source — this time it's the fun-loving fishmongers at Seattle's Pike Place Market. Fish! aims to help employees find their way to a fun and happy workplace."

Who Moved My Cheese? — Spencer Johnson

"Change can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your perspective. The message of Who Moved My Cheese? is that all can come to see it as a blessing, if they understand the nature of cheese and the role it plays in their lives."

It's Being Done (Academic Success in Unexpected Schools) — Karin Chenoweth

"This straightforward and inspiring book takes readers into schools where educators believe—and prove—that all children, even those considered "hard-to-teach," can learn to high standards. Their teachers and principals refuse to write them off and instead show how thoughtful instruction, high expectations, stubborn commitment, and careful consideration of each child's needs can result in remarkable improvements in student achievement."

Results Now — Michael J. Schmoker

"What would make a good school even better and great schools the norm? School improvement expert Michael J. Schmoker answers that question and describes a sure and fast route to immensely better schools in any kind of community. Using research evidence, case studies, and anecdotes from all kinds of schools, this book identifies the most pervasive obstacles to school improvement."

Whatever It Takes — DuFour, Eaker, Karhanek & DuFour

"Whatever It Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don't Learn examines the question, "What happens when, despite our best efforts in the classroom, a student does not learn?" A professional learning community creates a school-wide system of interventions that provides all students with additional time and support when they experience difficulty in their learning. The authors describe the systems of interventions, including Adlai E. Stevenson High School's Pyramid of Interventions, created by a high school, a middle school, and two elementary schools. The authors also discuss the logistical barriers these schools faced and their strategies for overcoming them."

What Great Principals Do Differently — Todd Whittaker

"What are the specific qualities and practices of great principals which elevate them above the rest? This book reveals things that most successful principals do and that other principals do not. It shows why these practices are effective and it also demonstrates how to implement each of them in your school."

Classroom Instruction That Works — Robert J. Marzano

"What works in education? How do we know? How can teachers find out? How can educational research find its way into the classroom? How can we apply it to help our individual students? Questions like these arise in most schools, and busy educators often don't have time to find the answers. Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, and Jane E. Pollock have examined decades of research findings to distill the results into nine broad teaching strategies that have positive effects on student learning:

  • Identifying similarities and differences.
  • Summarizing and note taking.
  • Reinforcing effort and providing recognition.
  • Homework and practice.
  • Nonlinguistic representations.
  • Cooperative learning.
  • Setting objectives and providing feedback.
  • Generating and testing hypotheses.
  • Questions, cues, and advance organizers.
This list is not new. But what is surprising is finding out what a big difference it makes, for example, when students learn how to take good notes, work in groups, and use graphic organizers."

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit — Richard Louv

"In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation — he calls it nature-deficit — to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond — and they are right in our own backyard."

Transforming Professional Development Into Student Results — Douglas B. Reeves

"How can we create and sustain professional learning programs that actually lead to improved student achievement? In Transforming Professional Development Into Student Results, Douglas B. Reeves provides answers. First he casts a critical eye on professional learning that is inconsistent, unfocused, and ultimately ineffective, and explains why elaborate planning documents and brand-name programs are not enough to achieve desired outcomes. Then he outlines how educators at all levels can improve this situation. If you're tired of professional development that takes up too much time and delivers too little, this book is a 'must read.' Discover how to move toward a system that gives educators the learning experiences they need to make a measurable difference for their schools and their students."

On Common Ground — DuFour, Eaker & DuFour

"The authors explore the multi-faceted landscape of education from the perspective of decades of research and practical application, sorting out the trends and ineffectual approaches. While each of the writers has a unique perspective, the consensus of all is the importance of professional learning communities as the means to authentic, sustained school reform."

The World is Flat — Thomas Friedman

"Thomas Friedman looks at the interconnectedness of the modern world and changes brought on by improvements in communication and technology. That interconnectedness, he argues, has leveled the economic playing field around the world, making the world flat."

Hot, Flat, and Crowded — Thomas Friedman

"Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge — and the promise — of the future. Friedman takes a fresh provocative look at two of the biggest challenges we face today: America's surprising loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11; and the global environmental crisis, which is affecting everything from food to fuel to forests. In this groundbreaking account of where we stand now, he shows us how the solution to these two big problems are linked — how we can restore the world and revive America at the same time. This is a great challenge, Friedman explains, but also a great opportunity, and one that America cannot afford to miss. Not only is American leadership the key to the healing of the earth; it is also our best strategy for the renewal of America."

The Fifth Discipline — Peter M. Singe

"The Fifth Discipline has turned many readers into true believers; it remains the ideal introduction to Peter M. Senge's carefully integrated corporate framework, which is structured around 'personal mastery,' 'mental models,' 'shared vision,' and 'team learning.' Using ideas that originate in fields from science to spirituality, Senge explains why the learning organization matters, provides an unvarnished summary of his management principals, offers some basic tools for practicing it, and shows what it's like to operate under this system. The book's concepts remain stimulating and relevant as ever."