I would personally skip the two about higher ed “disruption,” since nobody really knows how much of that (for-profits, MOOCs, finance/tuition reform, etc.) will stick—and, frankly, the blurbs are an embarrassing mix of hype and misunderstanding. From The End of College, for example: will the “traditional meritocracy” really be “upended” in the end? Who would describe the US college system as a “meritocracy” in the first place? It just goes downhill from there…
Some more promising books on this list, by my own reading of the descriptions:
Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education by George D. Kuh and Stanley O. Ikenberry. I cite this one because I’ve seen university teaching & learning be directly influenced by research, training, and classroom design. It’s definitely true that strong teachers and strong classes can be made, and it’s worth universities consciously investing in this.
Making Classrooms Better: 50 Practical Applications of Mind, Brain, and Education Science by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa. This one interests me for my own application as a teacher and a geeky parent of school-age kids. It starts with cross-disciplinary scientific background and then touches on a range of practical topics, from classroom climate to metacognitive skills and mindfulness.
What Connected Educators Do Differently by Todd Whitaker and Jeffrey Zoul. In 2014 I read Elizabeth Green’s Building a Better Teacher and came away convinced that way we leave teachers isolated in North America, with a (well or poorly designed) curriculum on a page and no community of practice, simply doesn’t make any sense. I immediately thought of teaching Computational Thinking in North America—an obvious place where we can start to build a better system. I’d be interested to see what Whitaker and Zoul have to say about social media and professional development.
These are, on the surface anyway, practical and grounded in good research and analysis. Not all are published just yet; post a comment if you’ve read any of them (or plan to).