Reading Without Limits

Teaching strategies to build independent
reading for life

Maddie Witter

Jossey-Boss (Wiley Imprint)

KIPP Education Series

ISBN 9781118472156

RR $34.95

The RWL reading program started in 2005 when the author and her colleagues opened a new school in Harlem, New York, with a strong mission, and successfully built a love of learning. In 2008 the school ranked as the #1school in Manhattan.

This year in Australia she has helped to cofound Parkville College, a school serving incarcerated youth in Australia. Most students have been out of education for years and reflect that they have never read a book.

Reading Without Limits is a step-by-step instruction manual. Followed faithfully, the end result should be students who can read… and have developed a lifelong reading habit.

This one is well worth a close look.

I Just Get So …Angry!

Dealing with anger and other strong
emotions for teenagers

Timothy Bowden, Sandra Bowden

Exisle Publishing 

ISBN 9781921966217

RR $19.99

Co-authors Timothy and Sandra Bowden use Dr Russ Harris’ Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) strategies in their role as school councillors. The bestselling Harris book The Happiness Trip describes techniques that have proved to be effective in teaching adolescents effective flexible strategies for dealing with the stressors in their life.

They have chosen to use a comic book narrative (Sandra Bowden is an illustrator as well as a registered psychologist) to tell the story of Andy, an unhappy teen with a lot of emotional baggage. Following a snarling exchange with his girlfriend and best mate, Andy storms off to the beach, gets lost in a fog, meets the Beast (symbolising his inner anger, hurt, fear and resentment) and learns from Sea Eagle strategies to deal with his issues.

All ends well when Andy uses the eagle’s advice to get his emotions under control.

Moody teens might benefit from reading it and experimenting with the coping strategies laid out at the end of the book. Teachers might like to use it in class discussion, supported by the resources, which can be downloaded at www.actonpurpose.com.au

Distressed or Deliberately Defiant?

Managing challenging student behaviour due
to trauma and disorganised attachment

Dr Judith A Howard

Australian Academic Press Group

ISBN 97819221117151

RR $30.45

It is not unusual for educators today, at all age levels, to be confronted with severely challenging student behaviour – students who fly into unexplained violent and oppositional outbursts with little warning.

Judith Howard explains the basis for such behaviour as the neurological, physiological and behavioural outcomes of ‘disorganised attachment’ due to a prolonged exposure to a traumatic home life.

She provides practical advice on ways to the school can effectively manage these students. By examining the science behind attachment theory, the neurobiology of behaviour, and the manifestation of disorganised attachment, this book seeks to help educators to manage the child’s outbursts and deal with the parents.

Very Near the Line

An autobiographical sketch of education and its politics in the Thatcher years

Donald Naismith

Authorhouse

ISBN 9781477245965

RR $15.18 softcover

Love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher changed the fabric of the UK during her term as Prime Minister. During her 11 years in power, education was transformed by her determination to reorganise the state sector along British public school lines and in so doing to remove the local councils from the partnership role that had always played in the national system.

Donald Naismith was Director of Education for three years during the Thatcher era, coming ‘very near the line’ in pursuing policies central to Thatcher’s revolution, according to Lord Denning (Master of the Rolls in the Court of Appeal and a leading light in the UK’s legal system).

Given her recent death, educators with an interest in the history and politics of education will find this a good read and maybe relevant to the current Australian educational debate.