Mensah recommends The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)Member by Dr. Cynthia B. Dilliard. (Photos: TC Archives, Penguin Random House)

On the Bookshelf: The Spirit of Our Work: Black Women Teachers (Re)Member by Dr. Cynthia B. Dilliard (Penguin Random House)

Recommended By: Felicia Mensah, Professor of Science and Education

Why: For Mensah, Dillard’s work embodies the “heart and spirit of Black teachers,” as well as “the spiritual center of who Black teachers are and the legacy we carry.”

“This book will open your mind to trust in the power of our resilience and the tenacity of our spirit to remember and live our practice from positions of power and strength,” says Mensah, whose scholarship often bridges science teacher education and multicultural inclusion.

“Reading this book brings life to the amazing work of teaching and the history that upholds us,” says Mensah, co-editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. “The stories shared in the book give voice to my stories, and the reason for teaching that empowers and transforms the lives of our students.”


Bettina L. Love’s We Want to do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, recommended by Sealey-Ruiz. (Photos: Penguin Random House, TC Archives) 

On the Bookshelf: We Want to do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom by Bettina L. Love (Penguin Random House)

Recommended By: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Associate Professor of English Education

Why: “An honest, well-researched, and carefully crafted book” in the words of Sealey-Ruiz, fellow TC faculty member Love “offers a wonderful balance between historical and present-day educational experiences of children in K-12 public schools, and the author's educational experiences.”

Sealey-Ruiz – a scholar and poet whose work focuses on culturally relevant pedagogy, racial literacy, and identity – also praises Love’s book for it’s exploration of “implications and possibilities for policy changes that are needed to turn around our K-12 schools.”


Bettina L. Love recommends Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework by Gholdy Muhammad (Photos: TC Archives, Scholastic) 

On the Bookshelf: Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework by Gholdy Muhammad (Scholastic)

Recommended By: Bettina L. Love, William F. Russell Professor in the Foundations of Education

Why: “When I first read Cultivating Genius, I was in awe of how Muhammad brings diverse texts and literacies into K-12 classrooms regardless of the content area,” explains Love, who joins TC this fall from the University of Georgia and served as the College’s annual Tisch lecturer in the spring.

“The teaching methods discussed in this book help teachers connect students' learning to their lives in ways that address racism, power, and inequities while advancing who they are as readers.”


The Young Lords: A Radical History by Johanna Fernández, recommended by Erickson. (Photos: The University of North Carolina Press, Juliana Sohn) 

On the Bookshelf: The Young Lords: A Radical History by Johanna Fernández (The University of North Carolina Press)

Recommended By: Ansley Erickson, Associate Professor of History and Education Policy

Why: “Fernandez gives us a compelling portrait of the political vision and organizing power of this group of young Puerto Rican activists in the 1960s and 1970s. But she makes a special contribution for educators: she helps us see how schooling shapes students’ politics, how activists made spaces to learn together and educate each other, and how Puerto Rican youth understood – better than city officials – what children need to thrive in school,” explains Erickson, editor of Educating Harlem: A Century of Schooling and Resistance in a Black Community.

“You can’t read this book without recognizing how deeply and consistently Puerto Rican communities – like Black communities as well – have fought for the education they deserve,” says Erickson. “Every teacher needs to sit with that history as they enter the classroom this fall.”


Arora recommends Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini (Photos: TC Archives, Penguin Random House) 

On the Bookshelf: Superior: The Return of Race Science by Angela Saini (Penguin Random House)

Recommended By: Prerna Arora, Assistant Professor of School Psychology

Why: An interrogation of the disturbing persistence of “race as a biological concept in science,” Arora says author Angela Saini “does a commendable job of presenting scientific research in an approachable manner and encourages us to question what we are teaching and learning in our classrooms.”

For Arora, whose scholarship focuses on mental health support and access for historically underserved youth and adolescents, Superior “presents a critical review of the uncomfortable reality of the study of (the assessment of) intelligence, both past and present – an area which is not sufficiently reflected upon.”