Stuck for a good summer read? Two of Keene State's professors describe the best books they've read recently in their field – geography and education, in this case.
Albert Rydant, professor of geography and chair of the department, has taught at Keene State since 1984. His degrees are, fittingly, from diverse geographical locations: Worcester State College (B.A.), Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (M.A.), and University of Victoria (Ph.D.). The most memorable books he's read recently include:
Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson (2009).
Following the path blazed by Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson turns the "stones," representing fallen citizens, into schools, representing hope and the future that only education can provide. A must-read in today's geo-political environment.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman (2009).
Friedman provides a provocative examination of the early days of the 21st century and outlines a new path of which we should all be cognizant. A good summer read.
The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending (2009).
The authors offer a novel and readable account of the rapid changes in human biological evolution, arguing that human evolution has accelerated since civilizations arose and that, in fact, civilizations have dramatically altered human evolution in just the last 10,000 years. Interested in resistance to malaria? Blue eyes? Lactose tolerance? Here's your chance to explore new interpretations.
Shirley McLoughlin, assistant professor of education and chair of the department, received her master's degree from Keene State and her doctorate from Miami University of Ohio. She is the author of A Pedagogy of the Blues (2008), which examines the history of African American blues music and artists and uses the themes and metaphor of the blues to establish a new pedagogical approach to teaching.
She recommends the following:
Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by Bell Hooks (1994). It's an older book, but timeless.
Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now? by Peter McLaren and Joe Kincheloe (2007)
Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom by Lisa Delpit and Herbert Kohl (2006)