Read This To Learn from One of the Most Influential Thinkers and Educators in the 20th Century

by | Jun 14, 2021 | 0 comments

5 min read

Don’t miss this vblog on YouTube or catch our Read This segment of our One Thing Series podcast–books you need to read to lead better and grow faster. 

Featured Author: John Dewey (October 20, 1859–June 1, 1952)

Featured Books: Experience and Education and How We Think

Here’s Why Every Principal Leader, Administrator, and Educator Should Read These Books by John Dewey

Leaders are busy. Educators are always running short on time so it is of the utmost importance to select the right books, ones that will take your leadership skills to another level. 

Think about the following reflection questions as educators:

  • Do you want to think more clearly about thoughts, balance of mind, and how to think critically? 
  • Do you want to understand how to analyze your school and thoughtfully determine what decisions will lead to the greatest gains for students? 
  • Do you want to better understand how to lead change, maintain high standards, and not suppress individuality? 

If you answered a BIG YES to these questions then take some time and enjoy these two incredible books by one of the most influential educational reformers in history, John Dewey.

Experience and Education

  • We’ll start with Experience and Education. Honestly it’s tough to choose what books to select since John Dewey was such a prolific writer. However, these two do a great job encapsulating the guiding thoughts of John Dewey. 
  • Experience and Education is a relatively short work in which Dewey analyzes education. This is one lens to read this book from–not only to learn what John Dewey thought and believed in but to also understand how he critically examined our profession as a philosopher. This is a very important skill for any administrator. 
  • What we find sobering is that when you delve into this work and read how Dewey contrasts traditional and progressive education, you almost can’t believe that it was written so long ago. It reads like a present day reform effort. There is no doubt that education has advanced, but the system itself has not fundamentally changed

How We Think

  • The second book we chose was How We Think (free download), partly because it shines an amazing light into what it means to be human, and, also, because we are educational leaders, we must understand the importance of how we operate as people. Our thoughts and our actions are what define us as leaders; by understanding ourselves better, we create greater potential for success in others. 
  • An example of how Dewey delves into our inner workings is in Chapter 2 with our need to train our thinking. This is a concept that has spanned many works from Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within, to books on Emotional Intelligence. Check out Dewey’s quote below.

Let us know what you’re reading by contacting us at

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — If you have a topic you want us to cover or need recommendations on books to read in a particular area of leadership, just send us a tweet or an email. 

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