Education: A Book List

A friend asked for my book list about education. What follows is a rough guide to why I believe as I do about education.

My position:  government should have zero involvement in education, for a variety of reasons. People should be completely free to make their own choices, which would include “home schooling,” “unschooling,” and all sorts of free-market alternatives. I do not advocate vouchers, tax credits, and charter schools; all perpetuate the myth that government control must be involved.

In short, I am an abolitionist, calling for one hundred percent separation of school and state.

Having got that out of the way:

Mass Market Education Has Been Effective Historically:

Market Education: The Unknown History
Market Education: The Unknown History, by Andrew J. Coulson
Education And The State
Education And The State by E. G. West

Mass Market Education Today

The Beautiful Tree

The Beautiful Tree, by James Tooley

Historical Overview – Why It Is What It Is

Underground History of American Education

The Underground History of American Education, John Taylor Gatto

What it Could Be

Reclaiming Educaiton Book Cover
Reclaiming Education, by James Tooley

What is wrong with education? Why do educational reforms always miss their target? How can we create a better education system? And what can we learn from other countries?

Reclaiming Education tackles the challenges facing education that really matter – hte ones that academics often ignore, parents demand solution to and politicians need to confront. Drawing on his global research, James Tooley shows that there is an alternative to poor quality and wasteful inefficiency in education, and that education can be radically transformed to guarantee freedom and higher standards.

Peter Gray, Freedom to Learn

I am a huge fan of Peter Gray’s articles in Psychology Today – in particular, articles on unschooling, play, home education.

The 30 Million Word Gap

Research on the importance of early (infant, toddler) communication with their parents or caregiver. If you and your daycare aren’t doing this, your children aren’t developing as they ought.

I strongly believe that your 30 million words should include “verbalizing the math.” Research shows that children who have good number sense skills at age 6 do better with math at age 13. See what I’ve written about math and toddlers.

Democratic Free Schools

Free At Last, Daniel Greenberg
Summerhill, A.S. Neill

Home Education / Unschooling

Teach Your Own, John Holt


The Teenage Liberation Handbook, Grace Llewelyn

Who Really Benefits: Conflict of Interest

Rise of the Educational Security State

I shall extend this as time permits. Suggestions are most welcome.

2 thoughts on “Education: A Book List”

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