We are often asked “What should I be reading to better connect Mind, Brain, and Education to how I think about teaching and learning?” Our answer is rooted in our own experience: it depends where you are on your MBE journey. We hope our attempt to organize an “MBE readings pathway” helps. 

LEVEL I: Free, short online overviews

LEVEL II: Books that provide an overview and vision of how MBE Science can transform schools and classrooms

  • Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education

  • Daniel Willingham Why Don’t Students Like School? A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

  • Pamela Cantor and David Osher The Science of Learning and Development: Enhancing the Lives of All Young People

  • Pedro De Bruyckere The Ingredients for Great Teaching

  • National Research Council How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition and How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts and Cultures

  • Bradley Busch and Edward Watson The Science of Learning: 77 Studies that Every Educator Needs to Know

LEVEL III: Books for when you are familiar with LEVEL II and want something meatier

  • Pooja K. Agarwal & Patrice M. Bain Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning

  • John Hattie Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement

  • Mariale Hardiman The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools

  • Dylan Wiliam & Siobhan Leahy Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms

  • Pedro De Bruyckere, Paul Kirschner, and Casper Hulshof More Urban Myths About Learning and Education: Challenging Eduquacks, Extraordinary Claims, and Alternative Facts

  • David Didau What If Everything You Knew About Education Was Wrong?

LEVEL IV: Deeper dive into specific topics

Quite general books on evidence informed practice:

  • Denise Pope Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids

  • Christopher Emdin For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education

  • Daniel Schwartz, Jessica Tsang, and Kristen Blair The ABCs of How We Learn: 26 Scientifically Proven Approaches, How they Work, and When to Use Them

  • John Hattie Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning

  • Pedro De Bruyckere, Paul Kirschner, and Casper Hulshof Urban Myths About Learning and Education

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

  • Paul A. Kirschner and Carl Hendrick How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice

Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEB):

  • Floyd Cobb and John Krownapple Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity: The Keys to Successful Equity Implementation

  • Joe Feldman Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms

  • Zaretta L. Hammond Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students 

  • Claude Steele Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us


  • Susan Neuman and David Dickinson Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 3

  • Gough, P.B. & Tunmer, W.E. (1986). Decoding, reading, and reading disability. Remedial and Special Education, 7, 6-10

  • National Institute for Literacy Executive Summary: Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel

  • John Hattie Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the Practices That Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning 

  • Alex Quigley Closing the Vocabulary Gap

  • Natalie Wexler The Knowledge Gap

  • Daniel Willingham The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads


Leadership and developing expert teachers:

  • David Weston Unleashing Great Teaching: The Secrets to the Most Effective Teacher Development.

  • Dylan Wiliam Leadership for Teacher Learning: Creating a Culture Where All Teachers Improve So That All Students Succeed

  • Julie Wilson The Human Side of Changing Education: How to Lead Change With Clarity, Conviction, & Courage

Research methods:

  • Craig Mertler Action Research: Improving Schools and Empowering Educators

  • Robert Janke and Bruce Cooper Errors in Evidenced-Based Decision Making: Improving and Applying Research Literacy

  • Paul Howard Jones Introducing Neuroeducational Research: Neuroscience, Education and the Brain from Contexts to Practice

  •  Beth Morling Research Methods in Psychology: Evaluating a World of Information

  •  Daniel Willingham When Can You Trust the Experts? How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education

Deeper dive into the brain and learning:

  • Kurt W. Fischer and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang The Jossey-Bass Reader on the Brain and Learning

  • Paul Howard Jones Evolution of the Learning Brain: Or How You Got to Be So Smart…

  • Yana Weinstein , Megan Sumeracki, and Oliver Caviglioli Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide

  • Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast and Slow

  • Mary Helen Immordino-Yang Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience

  • Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa Neuromyths: Debunking False Ideas About The Brain

  • Eric R. Kandel In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind

  • Cathy Davidson Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

  • Hana Ros and Matteo Farinella Neurocomic

Child Development:

  • Deans for Impact Early Child Development

  • Cantor, P., Lerner, R.M., Pittman, K.J., Chase, P.A., & Gomperts, N. (2021). Whole-Child Development, Learning, and Thriving: A Dynamic Systems Approach

  • Jack P. Shonkoff and Deborah A. Phillips From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development

  • Sarah-Jayne Blakemore Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain

Educational Systems (comparisons, critiques and evidence-informed overhauls)

  • Dylan Wiliam Creating the Schools Our Children Need: Why What We’re Doing Now Won’t Help Much (And What We Can Do Instead)

  • Lucy Crehan Cleverlands: The Secrets Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers

  • Susan Greenfield Mind Change: How Digital Technologies are Leaving their Mark on our Brains

  • David Didau Making Kids Cleverer: A manifesto for closing the advantage gap

Practical, implementable strategies and techniques

  • Judy Willis Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher

  • Ron Ritchhart Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners

  • Robert Dillon The Space: A Guide for Educators

  • Harris Cooper The Battle Over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents, 3rd Edition

  • Tom Sherrington The Learning Rainforest: Great Teaching In Real Classrooms

  • Meg Lee and Mary Kay Ricci Mindsets for Parents: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids

Online Resources

Online Resources for the Elementary Roadmap

We probably missed some great books when we made our list. We mean no offense — it might just be a slip on our part. Please write and let us know your recommendations: info@thecttl.org

The CTTL receives no compensation, financial or otherwise, for making these recommendations.