Books To Make Your Trainings More Effective

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Most of the ideas in this blog are a remix of ideas from other mentors, authors, & educators.

If you are looking to grow your team and help them achieve their social change goals, check out this list of book on training design and facilitation.

  1. Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C Brown, Mark A. McDaniel, Henry L. Roediger III.

This covers some essential lessons from cognitive psychology on how to help learners retain information and put it into practice.

  1. Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation: 11 Key Concepts You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know by Sam Killermann and Meg Bolger

A fun, funny and easy read, this covers some excellent strategies to help encourage participation and move learners to engage.

  1. Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirksen

This covers the how and why of effective training design in easy-to-read prose, drawing from research and examples.

  1. Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation by James D. Kirkpatrick and Wendy Kayser Kirkpatrick

This short guide demonstrates how to connect learning and behavior to results. It also has very useful evaluation form templates that you can use and adapt.

  1. On Teaching and Learning by Dr. Jane Vela

Rich with examples from her work around the world, Dr. Jane Vela describes her step-by-step approach to learning design she calls Dialogue Education.

  1. The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer

Looking for spiritual inspiration as an educator? Parker Palmer’s work helps to inspire passion and meaning in one’s work.

  1. Freedom’s Teacher: The Life of Septima Clark by Katherine Mellen Charron

An inspiring biography of one of the founders of Citizenship Schools, demonstrating the power of what can be accomplished through a large-scale social justice training project.

  1. Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks

One of the founders of critical pedagogy, bell hooks talks about how learners can inspire critical thought and action for liberation.

  1. Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

This was the book that inspired me on a path of training for social change years ago. A dense but essential read for anyone interested in why education is critical for social change.

  1. We Make the Road by Walking by Paulo Friere and Myles Horton

A conversation on education and organizing from two of the most influential pedagogues of the 20th century: Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander Center. This is by far my favorite book on the subject.

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