On my bookshelf

Multilingual Learning

The following books provide a rich resource through which to deepen understanding and thinking about multilingualism. From research to practical strategies and exploring a range of approaches and contexts these have proven to be invaluable resources.

Classroom Assessment in Multiple Languages

by Margo Gottlieb

“Multilingual learners deserve meaningful and fair assessment that generates useful information for improving teaching and learning in linguistically and culturally sustainable classrooms and schools.”

Margo Gottlieb, Classrooms Assessment in Multiple Languages

A fabulous resource to support teachers and grade level teams in exploring ways in which to assess student understanding, knowledge and skills through enabling students to use their full linguistic repertoire. I really enjoyed the structure of each chapter beginning with a dilemma that set the scene for the strategies, resources and thinking that is then laid out. The book contains rich resources for assessment practices that teachers can adopt and test out in their school context and also has resources for students embedded throughout. This book really made me reflect on how we view assessment in schools and that through reframing questions and stepping back to question our own questions themselves we can find more equitable ways to better understand and nurture all learners.

The Translanguaging Classroom

Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning

by Ofelia García, Susana Ibarra Johnson & Kate Seltzer

For any teacher wanting to deepen their understanding of translanguaging practices in the classroom this gives practical concrete examples to connect with.

“A translanguaging classroom is any classroom in which students may deploy their full linguistic repertoires, and not just the particular languages(s) that are officially used for instructional purposes in that space. These classrooms can be developed anywhere e find students who are, or are becoming, bilingual.”

Ofelia García, Susana Ibarra Johnson & Kate Seltzer, The Translanguaging Classroom



by Debra Rader

Both thought provoking and practical, this book is a wonderful compilation of resources to support teachers as they explore developing intercultural understanding in their classrooms. The theory is accessible and transfers to a useful framework to use as a roadmap to guide taking active steps with young learners. The practical resources in Part 3 of the books provide a window into bringing this to life in diverse school contexts and a broad variety of children’s literature to inspire thinking.

Teaching and Learning for Intercultural Understanding: Engaging Young Hearts and Minds is a comprehensive resource for early years and primary school educators in schools worldwide. It provides teachers with a complete Framework for Developing Intercultural Understanding (Rader 2016), and is unique in that it bridges theory and practice, and applies research in the field of intercultural competence to our work with children.”

Debra Rader


These books challenged my thinking about what community can be defined as. Thinking deeply about how we bring others together, how we gather, holds transformative possibilities. Through anecdotes and storytelling to practical tools these have lots of wisdom and ideas to reflect on and transfer to diverse contexts.

Community – The Structure of Belonging

by Peter Block

In, ‘Community, The Structure of Belonging’, Peter Block challenges us to think beyond the practicalities of bringing people together in a community. The book encourages deeper thinking about how we can create more meaningful connections and develop an authentic sense of belonging. With many practical examples and anecdotes this is an inspiring read.

“Shift our conversations from the problems of community to the possibility of community.”

Peter Block

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

by Priya Parker

“The way we gather matters. Gatherings consume our days and help determine the kind of world we live in, in both our intimate and public realms.”

Priya Parker

This book really provoked my thinking about how bringing people together, to truly be present and active, is an art form of sorts. There is a host of wonderful anecdotes to get immersed in and these bring the concept of ‘artful gathering’ to life. The author urges deeper thinking about purpose when we bring people together and provides a wealth of examples to activate thinking creatively about the gatherings we host and attend.

Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation

by Shane Safir & Jamila Dugan

“Street data offers a new grammar for educational equity. It humanizes the process of gathering data…………It teaches us to be ethnographers rather than statisticians. And the process itself builds trust and relational capital.”

Shane Safir & Jamila Dugan

This book was like a breath of fresh air for me. It takes the reader on a journey of ‘What ifs’ and encourages a community centric approach to getting to know your learners, identifying pathways for improvement and ensuring equity in how we gather, analyse and draw conclusions about the data we gather. This book really could have been included in both the leadership or multilingual learning section of my bookshelf. Its focus on shifting mindsets away from only fixating on standardised testing and encouraging a dialogue about data re-broadening the meaning to include all sorts of information gathered. In essence, reminding us that data is simply information, and not only test or exam results. This is a great read for curriculum leaders and teams of teachers to really carve out a shared understanding of how to build in more equitable models of data informed practice in our schools.


There are so many books on leadership out there, so, selecting just a few to share here to start off was a challenge! These books really brought perspective to being a leader and shaped my thinking about the terminology in itself. I will continue to add to this collection of books periodically.

Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons From Jazz

by Frank J Barrett

“Jazz bands actually are organizations designed for innovation, and design elements from jazz can be applied to other organizations seeking to innovate. In order for jazz bands to be successful, they require a commitment to a mind-set, a culture, practices and structures and a leadership framework that is strikingly similar to what it takes to foster innovation in Organizations.”

Frank J Barrett, Yes to the Mess: Surprising Leadership Lessons from Jazz

When ‘Yes to the Mess’ was recommended to me by a leader I admired I initially thought, ‘jazz – what?’ As I devoured the pages though this engaging read has given me so much to lean into and helped shape my perspective as a leader. It is a fascinating read that draws parallels between organisational leadership and jazz musicians. The book is filled with stories that inspire and demonstrate the need for adaptability, innovation, and creativity to lead in times of complexity and uncertainty. I found this to be a book I could not put down and come back to again and again.

Unleash Your Complexity Genius: Growing Your Inner Capacity To Lead

by Jennifer Garvey Berger & Caroline Coughlin

This book really emphasises the connection between understanding ourselves, our responses and reactions – the complexity within – can help us navigate the complexity around us. It is full of relatable stories and pearls of wisdom that can help guide our way of thinking; encouraging us to practice the identified ‘genius behaviours’ that are explored.

“We cannot handle the complexity outside us unless we are able to notice – and ultimately change – what complexity does inside us”

Jennifer Garvey Berger & Caroline Coughlin, Unleash Your Complexity Genius: Growing Your Inner Capacity To Lead

Books on my reading list…

Multilingual Learning