Sunday, May 19, 2019

Five books worth rereading

I was recently inspired by a friend to write about five books I had recently completed from my non-school, non-work reading list. Some of them are profession-related, but I hope to apply them to my work setting(s) very soon. The reading list is in no particular order, and only the "keepers" are written about - the others are "gifters" to family or friends. If you want formal book reviews, use Google!

(1) Karp, H., Fuller, C., & Sirias, D. (2002). Bridging the Boomer-Xer gap: Creating authentic teams for high performance at work. Nicholas Brealy Publishing.

Dr. Fuller taught an elective course I completed as part of Ph.D. training, and she offered me a copy of the book as the course was ending. While not many copies are available any more, I recommend locating one if your interest and/or time are spent in an intergenerational workplace. The research methodology undergirding the book remains sound, as we progress out of a Boomer-dominated and into a Millennial-dominated workforce. As the Millennial child of Boomer parents, I found myself on the line between Boomer and Xer values. The how-to charts at the back are thorough enough for application to one's own workplace as a mid-level manager.

(2) DuFour, R., DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (2008). Revisiting professional learning communities at work: New insights for improving schools. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

I am a current clinician transitioning into an educator role, so I was intrigued at stumbling across this one at Goodwill. Although the style ends up being repetitious after the first third or so, the core principles of professional learning communities (PLCs) are well supported. Teachers benefit as much as students do from participating in a PLC, since by the shared goals and values there is mutual support for situated professional development, rigorous and meaningful student assessment techniques, and the feeling that no one is teaching in isolation.

(3) Probst, M., & Skjaerven, L. H. (Eds.). (2018). Physiotherapy in mental health and psychiatry: A scientific and clinical based approach. Elsevier.

Technically, I purchased this to be more aware of my competition, but in reading through it section by short section, I found it highly enjoyable for its own sake. For years, I have been immersed in mental and behavioral health settings for clinical practice, and was sad at the lack of resources for physical therapists both in initial and ongoing professional training for mental illnesses besides dementias. The editors draw together physical therapists and mental health professionals from much of Europe and surrounding areas to summarize research related to PT involvement in assessment and treatment of persons with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, conversion disorder, and others.

(4) Danielson, C., & McGreal, T. L. (2000). Teacher evaluation to enhance professional practice. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

This one I picked up from a shelf of free (ex-faculty-office) books. It offers a three-track system, which I will be interested to see if it is applied outside the primary and secondary education systems, to provide teachers and administrators with useful, formative feedback as well as summative evaluation. Formative feedback is process-related and meant to help teachers grow professionally while feeling truly supported with potential for more and more success.

(5) Schultz, S. J. (1960). The Old Testament speaks. S. J. Schultz.

Another one from the free bookshelf, this text is a well-researched, readable companion to the Old Testament, especially for those who struggle (many Christians and other biblically literate individuals) to see how the events and themes fit together at the chapter, book, and canon level. I was mildly disappointed at the waffling stance Schultz took on several historical issues, but his approach made sense when viewed in context of the entire book - many events, while confirmed by archaeological finds, are still difficult to date with certainty because the text is not always chronological in order and style.