Deciding what to do with each book was absolutely impossible until I came up with an effective plan. Each book would be judged as follows. The books I would save and take home would be the ones that had impacted my professional life, my thinking and educational values the most. The second category would be those books that my colleagues or replacement might want. The third group comprised those destined for the recycle bin while the fourth and last group were the books my daughter wanted.
After three days of sorting, one spent with my daughter Marie, I have pretty well consigned every book to one of the groups described above. The pile of books that have touched my life the most are almost all books that I read as an undergraduate student. Books by Bruner, Dewey, Peters, DeBono, Whitehead to name a few. Looking back it seems remarkable that so few have had the same deep influence on educational values and core ideas as these great masters. Carol Dweck and Jo Boaler have been great influences along the way but it was these great writers who introduced me to the wonders of teaching in my undergraduate education who had he most profound affect on the way I think about teaching and teachers education.
The second group of books contain books all about teaching math, science and engineering; books that contain great ideas and activities for helping children at the K - 6 level learn to enjoy and succeed mathematically and scientifically.
By far the largest selection of books have filled a very large recycling bin to overflowing and contain books of several types. There are the what I would call the "fleeting fad" type of book while others are earlier editions of current books. Many were sent t me by publishers hoping I would adopt the for my courses.
Undergraduate education today is promoted aggressively as a route to a better job, career preparation
and a pathway to fame and fortune in some instances. But the true value of undergraduate education is teaching students to be constructive and free thinkers; to develop cognitive and social values and a sense of who one is as an individual. Regardless of where I have worked in different parts of the world, the things I learned as an undergraduate have remained as the fundamental core of my beliefs.