Organized Reading

It will be clear from the reviews of the books in this issue that the world in which we as educators work is certainly becoming more complex. In this issue, you will be introduced to writing that deals, among other things, with the treatment of girls and women around the world and in your own community, the ongoing challenge of offering an education that is relevant in a rapidly changing world, and our changing understanding of how people learn differently and how we might address those differences. You will find reviews of work that aim to deepen your understanding of what it means to be Christian educators in this challenging social and cultural environment. And finally, you will find some excellent recommendations of reading material for your students.

A collection of reviews such as this can perhaps seem a little overwhelming when it arrives in your staff room mailbox during the very busy months late in the school year. So, as I have done before, allow me to make a suggestion.

Take some time to scan the reviews, and then select one of the suggested books that particularly appeals to you or that might relate closely to what you teach. In conversations with your colleagues, make a plan so that all or most of the books reviewed here could be read over the course of the (hopefully) less pressure-filled summer. When you reconvene as a staff in meetings prior to the beginning of the new school year, set aside some time to allow each person to report on the book they have selected, explaining what the book taught them, how it affected them, how it affirmed what you are doing as educators, and how it might help to shape your teaching for the upcoming year.

There is, obviously, no end of material available that presents new and different approaches to the work we do as educators. There is also no end of material that challenges us to think about the world in which we and our students are called to live and serve. The invitation of this issue is for you and your colleagues to engage with at least some of this material and to incorporate it into your beliefs and your work, and to pass on the fruit of this thinking to your students. It is, I am sure, the hope of all the writers represented in this issue that you will be refreshed by your reading and reflection, so that the new year will be another wonderful experience of blessing for you, your colleagues, and your students.

Happy reading, and have a wonderful summer.