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For December, I am recommending three books; two that have been life-changing educational reads and one warm holiday escape novel. As the program director of Grow Education and a doctoral student in educational leadership, my reading list is normally a mix of seminal educational texts sprinkled with dramatic novels.



Zoe Hansen-DiBello
Grow Education Program Director

PS: To purchase any of the books, please click on the cover image and you will be redirected to a retailer.


Pedagogy of the Oppressed has transformed the way I think and speak about public education.  In this smooth, yet profound narrative, Freire writes about education for liberation, humanism and love.  He writes about systems of oppression, pushing against a prescribed curriculum designed to maintain power for only some while oppressing others, and urges the reader to contemplate spaces of resistance found in dialogical exchanges and a pedagogy of love.

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” – Pedagogy of the Oppressed


Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
by bell hooks

Teaching to Transgress is a must read for those who engage in the world of education.  This was my first introduction to the work of bell hooks, a radical black feminist who tells is like it is.  Teaching to Transgress, speaks to the need for education to be a process of freedom and liberation, to aid students in their journeys to transgress racism, sexism and patriarchy.  Informed by the work of Paulo Freire and her own personal education, bell hooks redefines classroom pedagogy, taking the reader through a journey of transgression.



A Week in Winter
by Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite storytellers. Each of her novels takes place in magical Ireland, portraying compassionate accounts of love, loss, family and friends. This particular story takes place at a renovated inn in Stoneybridge, a small town on the west coast of Ireland. A Week in Winter seems like an appropriate novel to get swept away in over the holidays, make some tea, put on some cozy socks and get reading!

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