[Listed in alphabetical order by book title]


1. Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation (2013) by Tyler Cowen

This book by the renowned economist generated a lot of press! Cowen believes a large share of income will continue to go to a relatively small elite of educated people as middle class jobs continue to erode due to the loss of industrial competitiveness. Technology will make it easier for anyone to break into this elite, but Cowen is not optimistic about the chances for those regions and individuals that either cannot or do not add value to capital. He reveals the essential nature of the new economy, identifies the best path forward for workers and entrepreneurs, and provides readers with actionable advice to make the most of the new economic landscape.


2. Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (2014) by Michael Roth

Contentious debates over the benefits—or drawbacks—of a liberal education are as old as America itself. In this provocative contribution to the disputes, university president Michael S. Roth focuses on important moments and seminal thinkers in America’s long-running argument over vocational vs. liberal education. Roth explores historical and current arguments, considers the state of higher education today, and concludes with a stirring plea for the kind of education that has, since the founding of the nation, cultivated individual freedom, promulgated civic virtue, and instilled hope for the future.


3. College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students (2013) by Jeffrey Selingo

In College (Un)bound, Jeffrey J. Selingo, editor at large for The Chronicle for Higher Education, argues that America’s higher education system is broken. The great credential race has turned universities into big business and fostered an environment where middle tier colleges can command elite university-level tuition while concealing staggeringly low graduation rates and churning out students with few hard skills into the job market. Selingo not only turns a critical eye to the current state of affairs in higher education, but he also predicts how technology will transform it for the better. Free massive online open courses (MOOCs) and hybrid classes, adaptive learning software, and the unbundling of traditional degree credits will increase access to high quality education regardless of budget or location and tailor lesson plans to individual needs.


4. Degrees of Inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (2014) by Suzanne Mettler

Acclaimed political scientist Suzanne Mettler explains why the higher education system has gone so horribly wrong and why the American Dream is increasingly out of reach for so many. In her eye-opening account, she illuminates how political partisanship has overshadowed America’s commitment to equal access to higher-ed. As politicians capitulate to corporate interests, owners of for-profit colleges benefit, but for far too many students, higher education leaves them with little besides crippling student loan debt. Meanwhile, the nation’s public universities have shifted the burden of rising costs onto students. Degrees of Inequality offers an impassioned call to reform a system that has come to exacerbate, rather than mitigate, socioeconomic inequality in America.


5. Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement (2014) by Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams

Flipped classroom pioneers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams take their revolutionary educational philosophy to the next level by discussing what happens next—when a classroom is truly student-centered and teachers are free to engage with students on an individual level. Loaded with powerful stories from teachers across curriculum and grade levels, Flipped Learning will once again turn your expectations upside-down and fuel your excitement for teaching and learning.

Another great book on Flipped Learning also just came out this month and is worth a look: Time for Learning: Top 10 Reasons Why Flipping the Classroom Can Change Education (2014) by Kathleen Fulton.

(Next page: Ed-tech summer reading 6-10)

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