Here is some of what I have been reading which has helped me think about living and learning together and how children learn.

The Child and the Curriculum, The School and Society by John Dewey

Experience and Education by John Dewey

Books from Sudbury Valley Press about the history, philosophy, life, and alumni of the Sudbury Valley School, most by Daniel Greenberg

Tolstoy on Education selected and edited by Alan Pinch and Michael Armstrong

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

The Lives of Children by George Dennison

Instead of Education by John Holt

How Children Learn by John Holt

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt and Pat Farenga

Schools with Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers edited by Linda Lantieri

Readings on the Courage to Teach website, particularly those by Parker Palmer

Makers of Meaning in a Learning-Centered School: A Case Study of Central Park East 1 Elementary School by Jon Snyder and others, document available online,

What Are Learner-Centered Schools? by Jerome Delaney, article available online,

Collaborative Intervention in Early Childhood: Consulting with Parents and Teachers of 3- to 7-year-olds by Deborah Hirschland

Teacher by Silvia Ashton Warner

Teaching Children to Care by Ruth Sidney Charney

The Good Preschool Teacher by William Ayers

You Can’t Say You Can’t Play by Vivian Gussin Paley (and everything else she writes)

Ages and Stages by Karen Miller

The Ecology of Human Development by Uri Bronfenbrenner

Caring Spaces, Learning Places by Jim Greenman

The Block Book by Elizabeth S. Hirsch

Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol

Holding Values: What We Mean by Progressive Education, edited by Brenda S. Engel and Anne C. Martin

Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America by Paul Tough

Education for Human Greatness book, booklet, pamphlets by Lynn Stoddard

The Education of the Heart by Thomas Moore

The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Dr. Ned Hallowell

Lives of Passion, School of Hope by Rick Posner, Phd.

Making and Extraordinary School, the Work of Ordinary People by Len Solo

Turning Points: 35 Visionaries in Education Tell Their Own Stories edited by Jerry Mintz and Carlo Ricci


Books on life and spirituality

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel

In Search of Home: Women working, caring, sharing by Noragh Jones

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism by Megan Marshall

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up by James Hollis

Composing a Life: Life as a work in progress–the improvisations of five extaordinary women….by Mary Catherine Bateson

Kitchen Table Wisdom by Rachel Nomi Remen, M.D.

My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Nomi Remen, M.D.

Material on the Spirituality and Practice website

Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer

The Education of the Heart by Thomas Moore


Poetry to inspire the journey

Blue Iris by Mary Oliver

Cries of the Spirit: a Celebration of Women’s Spirituality edited by Marilyn Sewell


Favorite Children’s Books (Most enjoyed by a mixed age group)

On Resilience and Resurrection

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

On Fear and Overcoming It

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Would You Rather? by John Burningham

Cloudland by John Burningham

Brave Irene by William Steig

The Gray Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher and Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

On Love and Childhood and Family and Community

Mama Elizabeti, Elizabeti Goes to School, Elizabeti’s Doll by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems by Eloise Greenfield

So Much by Trishe Cooke illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Possum Magic by Mem Fox

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

“More, More, More,” Said the Baby and other books by Vera B. Williams

The Paper Crane by Molly Bang

Fairy Tales by e.e. cummings


George and Martha books by James Marshall

Best Friends for Frances by Russell Hoban (and all the other Frances books are good, too)

Folk and Fairy Tales (fear, magic, power)

Who’s In Rabbit’s House by Verna Aardema

Rabbit Makes a Monkey of Lion by Verna Aardema

Bimwili and the Zimwi by Verna Aardema

Borreguita and the Coyote by Verna Aardema

True Self and Unconditional Love

David Books by David Shannon

Stripes by David Shannon

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham

Intergenerational Relationships

Not So Fast, Songololo by Niki Daly

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

Real Work

Douglas Florian books including The Chef, The Carpenter, The Artist

Carrying, Tidy Up, Eating, Bedtime, Get Dressed by Gwenyth Swain

The Great Outdoors, Seasons

Gilberto and the Wind by Marie Hall Ets

Oxcart Man by Donald Hall

Miss Rumphius, Island Boy, Roxaboxen by Barbara Cooney (Roxaboxen written by someone else)

Beast Feast and other poetry collections by Douglas Florian

Strong Feelings, Tricky Situations, Getting Back on Track

When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang

Jamaica Tag Along and Jamaica’s Find by Juanita Havill, Ann Sibley O’Brien

Babushka Baba Yaga, Mr. Lincoln’s Way and many others by Patricia Polacco

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard


Shoes, Shoes, Shoes, Bread, Bread, Bread, Weddings, and Loving by Ann Morris

Funny Stuff

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and many others by Mo Willems

Favorite Chapter Books/Novels for kids and young adults (lots of themes above:)

Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, books, and audiobooks and movies have surrounded me and my kids and day care for the last ten years or so, still haven’t read the books myself!

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

The Phantom Tollbooth

Poetry and Rhymes

My Very First Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells

And Novels I Just Plain Love which are probably just as important to who I am and what I believe as the above, if you believe in the power of stories:)

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

The Last Report on the Miracles at Little Big Horse and pretty much anything by Louise Erdrich

The Poisonwood Bible and pretty much anything by Barbara Kingsolver

The Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn Chute

The Known World by Edward P. Jones

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson












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