PYP Leadership for a Changing World – An Insightful Booklist Compiled From The PYP Leaders Boot Camp 2020
Ekta Sethi
3 min read

25 inspiring PYP leaders and thinkers came together at the PYP Leaders Boot Camp 2020 to collaboratively explore ways to transform learning, foster leadership, and spark inspiration. Read on to download a stellar book list curated from our speakers.

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The virtual realm came to the rescue when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the world of education. However, continuing with what is now the new normal, teaching for many educators has been both an adaptive and transformative challenge. PYP leadership teams have been at the forefront of these changes, guiding their schools to smoothly transition through the uncertainty. To support PYP Leaders in sharing their journeys,Toddle presented the PYP Leaders Boot Camp, a virtual day-long deep dive into all things PYP Leadership. The day was focused on sharing real-life learnings, providing hands-on strategies, and supporting teams in building leadership capabilities.

Three unmissable themes of learning emerged from the Boot Camp – (1) Evolving pedagogy, (2) Uncovering concept-based curriculum design, and (3) Developing transformational leadership. To ensure that learning continued even after the Boot Camp concluded, our hosts personally recommended readings that could help educators strengthen their practice.

We’ve compiled their recommendations to create a one of a kind epic book list which is sure to support you in your learnings. Read on and stock up your reading list, with these great recommendations from our celebrated speakers! 

Evolving Pedagogy

Tapping into the potential for inquiry that uncertainty offers, keynote speaker Kimberley L. Mitchell showed educators how they can shift the paradigm and view uncertainty as ‘the natural habitat for inquiry’. Encouraging PYP leaders to embrace student agency, workshop leaders guided educators to explore more meaningful and engaging ways to involve children in leading their own inquiries. Like Aga Chojnacka said, “Nothing under the new normal should stop our children from playing and being inquirers.”

Explore and celebrate inquiry and play-based pedagogies in your schools and classrooms with these recommended readings:

This practical guide and interactive journal, explains all the fundamentals of inquiry learning. Educators can use the five key strategies recommended to implement authentic inquiry-based teaching in their classrooms. This book is for those who are seeking to enhance their pedagogical effectiveness and make a difference in the lives of their students.
By Kimberly L. Mitchell
This book offers educators research-based solutions to transform their classrooms into places of intellectual stimulation. Applicable across diverse learning environments, grade levels, and all subject areas; educators learn how thinking routines can scaffold and support children to become expressive and reflective individuals.
By Ron Ritchhart | Mark Church | Karin Morrison
This comprehensive educator guide helps resolve queries pertaining to the implementation of inquiry practices with 10 thought-provoking questions. Educators learn how to support students to grow as thinkers, collaborators, self-managers, communicators, and researchers in their inquiry journeys by developing strategies to create learning environments rich in purpose and passion.
By Kath Murdoch

Uncovering Concept-Based Curriculum Design

Looking through the lens of what matters to children, educators were pushed to think deeply about delivering learning that is significant, challenging, engaging and truly transdisciplinary in nature. Adding purpose and intention to the planning process enables educators and leaders to integrate higher-level thinking, conceptual understandings, concepts, and outcomes logically into it. Workshop leaders like Ellen Manson, Catherine Wan, Natalie Jensen, Louisa Gerlach, Anne Grisham and many others curated their experiences and made available tools, books, and strategies to enable educators to design rich and effective curriculum planners which students desire and deserve.

Deep dive into concept-based curricula with these recommended books:

With the help of this book, educators build an understanding of what a concept-based curriculum looks like and how it can be applied across disciplines and grade levels. Educators are presented with a teaching approach that rekindles the innate curiosity of children and helps them develop their conceptual thinking and problem-solving skills.
By H. Lynn Erickson | Lois A. Lanning | Rachel French
With this book, educators can uncover strategies for introducing conceptual learning to students which will initiate deep learning, problem-solving and innovative thinking in the classroom. Educators can use this book to develop lesson frameworks, understand the basic features of conceptual assessment, and differentiate concept-based instructions.
By Julie Stern | Krista Ferraro | Juliet Mohnkern
Innovative Global Education (IGE) has designed this practical resource guide to motivate educators to take the leap into implementing a concept-based learning program. With an aim to simplify concepts, the authors encourage educators and curriculum designers to equip themselves with strategies and ideas for implementing concept-based curriculums in their classrooms.
By Tania Lattanzio | Andrea Muller

Developing Transformational Leadership

Erin Threlfall hit the nail on the head when she said, “We are all leaders, no matter what role we have in school”. Exploring the nuances of leadership, our Boot Camp speakers inquired how leaders could develop a culture of learning by fostering a dialog between all stakeholders, in a nurturing environment. Adding another dimension to leadership progression, Resham Premchand and Kirsten Durward explored the power of coaching and demonstrated the domino effect it can have on creating a collaborative whole school community. Grounding leadership success back in the classroom, Bodo Heileger aptly captured that the ultimate celebration of leadership is when we view “every student success and teacher success as our success.”

Empower your leadership journeys with this essential reading list for all leaders: 

This book equips educators with essential skills, protocols, guidance, research, and resources that can be used in a school setting to meet productivity goals and explore the limitlessness of individual and group performances.
By Arthur L.Costa & Robert J. Garmston
As school leaders, instructional coaching interventions provide the strategies necessary to take school improvement programs to the next level. In this book, the author explains the necessary skills and knowledge that instructional coaches need to develop, along with its implementation to facilitate best practices in their working environments.
By Jim Knight
In this book, individuals will embark on a journey to connect, communicate, learn, and grow together with their school communities. By learning to engage in meaningful conversations, educators will learn how to "self- coach" and adopt habits to positively transform the quality of their dialogues.
By Jim Knight

If you enjoyed these recommendations, don’t forget to check out the complete reading list recommended by the Boot Camp speakers. 

Happy reading!

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Ekta Sethi
Ekta Sethi
A PYP educator with a masters degree in early years education from University College London, Ekta is passionate about play-based learning and creating meaningful learning resources for children. Having worked as a trainer, teacher, and content creator, she currently is the Learning and Engagement Manager at Toddle.
Disclaimer - The ideas and resources presented in this blog have been developed independently from and are not endorsed by the International Baccalaureate (IB).
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