Playing for Keeps: Life and Learning on a Public School Playground
By Brenda S. Engel, Deborah Meier, and Beth Taylor
(Teachers College Press, 2010)
Dramatic Learning in the Primary School
By Shirley Brice Heath and Shelby Wolf
(Creative Partnerships, 2005)
The Usborne Detective’s Handbook
Illustrated by Colin King
A History of the World in 100 Objects
By Neil MacGregor
(The British Museum, 2011)
I have been writing the Good Stuff column for years. It has been a pleasure to write, but fresh voices are always welcome in sustaining the life of a progressive journal. At this point I will write every other column, and other voices, other resources will enrich our work. I’m looking forward to learning from them—after all, I’m only 73.
I have wanted, through my recommendations, to suggest that, in addition to reading about education, teachers should be organic intellectuals and leaders in the formation of policy and creation of curriculum. We also should be active, not merely responsive, to what is currently happening in the world of ideas and actions and use our knowledge in the service of the communities we serve. We should enrich our struggles for social and economic justice by reading widely to learn what people beyond schools, classrooms, and the department of education think and suggest. To do this we have to constantly renew ourselves through our own explorations, inquiries, and discoveries. And we have to be translators as well—turning the sometimes abstract and complex things that we learn into practical, accessible experiences and ideas to challenge our students and ourselves.
Here are my current suggestions: