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An Annotated Bibliography

As a follow-up to docent training and on-the-job experience, many docents and staff have asked if The Docent Educator could provide a bibliography for further reading about teaching— its aims, processes, and procedures. Therefore, we have assembled the following, highly idiosyncratic, annotated bibliography for your convenience and use.

As you scan this list and note the publication dates of some works, it may be tempting to dismiss them as old and therefore no longer relevant to current concerns about teaching and thinking. On the contrary, most of the related readings included below are considered “classics,” and the ideas presented in them are rich and substantial.

Harriett, Sir Frederic. Thinking. New York: Basic Books, 1958.

  • A thorough and detailed analysis of thinking by an eminent psychologist dealing at length with experiments in the mental processes of interpolation and extrapolation. The author delineates everyday thinking and adventurous thinking, the thinking of the artist, and the thinking of the experimental scientist.

Bloom, Benjamin S. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Part I, Cognitive Domain. New York: Longmans Green, 1956.

  • An attempt at classifying the goals of teaching: knowledge, comprehension, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Bruner, Jerome S., Jacqueline Goodnow, and George A. Austin. A Study of Thinking. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1961.

  • An inquiry into the processes of categorizing and conceptualizing, demonstrating how we group things in order to learn and understand them more readily.

Conant, James B. On Understanding Science. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947.

  • The author offers a historical approach to the understanding of science hoping to acquaint the nonscientist with the methods of science.

De Bono, Edward. Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity. Harmondworth, England: Penguin Books, 1970.

  • The author presents ways of helping children learn to think imaginatively. The materials have easy application to elementary-aged students.

Dewey, John. How We Think. Boston: D.C. Heath, 1910.

  • This book is an educators “bible.” It was a pioneering and systematic examination of thinking, the method by which things acquire significance, and its relationship to teaching and learning.

Gartenhaus, Alan R., Minds in Motion: Using Museums to Expand Creative Thinking. San Francisco: Caddo Gap Press, 1997.

  • An exploration of creative thinking and its application to museum visits, including activities for use with art, history, and science-oriented collections.

Hayakawa, S. I., Language in Thought and Action. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1947.

  • Hayakawa places heavy emphasis on semantics and problems of communication, analyzing language as the expression of thought.

Lipman, Matthew. Thinking in Education. Cambridge, England. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

  • The author describes how to make the education process in schools more thoughtful and reasonable, and how to teaching using inquiry so as to encourage higher order thinking.

von Oech, Roger. A Whack on the Side of the Head: How to Unlock Your Mind for Innovation. New York: Warner Books, 1983.

  • A fun and, indeed, whacky text that speaks to unlocking one’s mind and encouraging creative thought, while presenting sound educational philosophy, activities and exercises, and stories.

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