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

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

NEW: Research behind Neuroteach Global Student™

Student Learning Strategies

  • McDaniel, M.A., & Einstein, G.O. (2020). Training Learning Strategies to Promote Self-Regulation and Transfer: The Knowledge, Belief, Commitment, and Planning Framework. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(6), 1363–1381.

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

  • Andrew Watson The Goldilocks Map: A Classroom Teacher’s Quest to Evaluate ‘Brain-Based’ Teaching Advice

  • 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

  • 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

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:

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