Recommended Reading

for educators

Knowledge is Power

Every now and then there's a book, blog post or article that just hits the nail on the head.

 Here's some of our favourite 

recommended books

Learning Stories : Constructing Learner Identities in Early Education

Margaret Carr's seminal work on Learning Stories was first published by SAGE in 2001, and this widely acclaimed approach to assessment has since gained a huge international following. In this new full-colour book, the authors outline the philosophy behind Learning Stories and refer to the latest findings from the research projects they have led with teachers on learning dispositions and learning power, to argue that Learning Stories can construct learner identities in early childhood settings and schools. By making the connection between sociocultural approaches to pedagogy and assessment, and narrative inquiry, this book contextualizes Learning Stories as a philosophical approach to education, learning and pedagogy.

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Learning Stories in Practice

Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee have often been asked for a follow-on practical companion to their seminal 2012 book Learning Stories; a complimentary book that provides practical advice for teachers who are embarking on a 'narrative assessments-for-learning' journey. After much anticipation that book is here at last!

Packed with a wide range of full-colour examples of real life learning stories from all over the world this practical guide is influenced by their ongoing work with teachers across many countries and the thoughtful comments and questions that teachers have asked during conversations at conferences, lectures and professional development programmes. They have turned these conversations with teachers and students into key ideas, and a practical framework on how to initiate and create good learning stories and why they are valuable.

Last Child in the Woods : Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Camping in the garden, riding bikes through the woods, climbing trees, collecting bugs, picking wildflowers, running through piles of autumn leaves... These are the things childhood memories are made of. But for a whole generation of today's children the pleasures of a free-range childhood are missing, and their indoor habits contribute to epidemic obesity, attention-deficit disorder, isolation and childhood depression.


This timely book shows how our children have become increasingly alienated and distanced from nature, why this matters and how we can make a difference. Last Child in the Woods is a clarion call, brilliantly written, compelling and irresistibly persuasive - a book that will change minds and lives.

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The Hundred Languages of Children : The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation, 3rd Edition

Why does the city of Reggio Emilia in northern Italy feature one of the best public systems of early education in the world? This book documents the comprehensive and innovative approach that utilizes the "hundred languages of children" to support their well-being and foster their intellectual development.

Educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, use a distinctive innovative approach that supports children's well-being and fosters their intellectual development through a systematic focus on symbolic representation. From birth through age six, young children are encouraged to explore their environment and express their understanding through many modes of expression or "languages," including verbal communication, movement, drawing, painting, sculpture, shadow play, collage, and music. This organic strategy has been shown to be highly effective, as the children in Reggio Emilia display surprising examples of symbolic skill and creativity.

Designs for Living and Learning : Transforming Early Childhood Environments

You likely have dreams for your early childhood environment that are greater than rating scales, regulations, and room arrangements. Designs for Living and Learning has been a favourite resource among educators and caregivers for more than a decade, and this new edition is packed with even more fresh ideas that can be used as you create captivating environments that nurture children, families, and staff while supporting children's learning. With hundreds of all-new colourful photographs of real early learning settings and a multitude of simple and practical concepts for creative indoor and outdoor spaces and learning materials, this book truly is a source of inspiration as you learn how to shape welcoming spaces where children can learn and grow.

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Threads of Thinking : Schemas and Young Children's Learning

In her new edition of this popular book, Cathy Nutbrown presents evidence of continuity and progression in young children's thinking. She shows, with detailed observation, that they are able and active learners. She considers aspects of children's patterns of learning and thinking - or schemas - and demonstrates clearly how children learn in an active, dynamic and creative way.


This book makes schema theory explicit in practice. Supported by numerous detailed examples and the discussion of difficult theoretical issues, it illustrates children's learning in areas such as literacy, maths and science.

recommended articles, resources and posts

Information about sleep time in early childhood

A powerpoint presentation for early childhdood educators by the Sleep in Childcare Research Group, QUT. Dr Sally Staton, Professor Karen Thorpe, Dr Susan Irvine.