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Reading list - do you purchase all the books?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by jrt2017, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. jrt2017

    jrt2017 New commenter

    I am going to be starting ITT in September and have just received the reading list through my training provider. Having had a good look through, there are around 15 books that are classed as 'essential'. These cost around £250 by purchasing the used books through Amazon sellers. There are some on Ebay, but I hate hanging around for bidding and losing out etc

    Are these types of books generally available through libraries? I would ideally like my own copies so I probably should just order them. However, I would hate to spend so much right now if it is unlikely that I will need them for assignments etc. If you have any advice - I would love to hear it!
  2. MissCleo

    MissCleo New commenter

    I think it all depends on the university and what is available in your library. At my uni we were only recommended to buy two of the books on our reading list, there were plenty of copies in the library and sometimes only one or two chapters from each was essential reading.

    I would recommend you to wait and see what you are told when you start, as they are likely to address this early on. Additionally, if you really want to own copies, have a look at the books in the library and see which you prefer. That way you can find out which works best for you and which you think will be the most useful.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I used the e-library throughout my course. Never once set foot in the bricks and mortar library (didn't live near uni, and was SD so never actually at uni).

    You'll have about 3 essays on the course, so just focus on using the library and such in order to write them. Buying textbooks is a waste of time on the PGCE.
  4. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Occasional commenter

    Don't buy them all.

    Even the 'core' books for my course are sitting looking pristine and I've just finished. Have a look in the library and see what you think will be most useful.
  5. jrt2017

    jrt2017 New commenter

    Thank you so much - you have saved me a fortune. I will slow down and take a better look in the libraries and ask around.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Also think about books not on the list that might be useful. I can recommend two:

    Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix
    The Craft of the Classroom ( I can't recall the author)

    When you do decide to buy any books, choose ones that you know you will return to again and again: ones with advice on planning or behaviour management.

    £250 for books sounds expensive but if you put it into the context of what you will earn if you finish the course, it isn't much. Some people spend £250 on drinks on a Saturday night out.

    Books are an investment. Saying that, £250 is a fortune when you are not working, so you do have to be careful, but look at the books as an investment to your future.

    All the very best for September. Will you be studying primary or secondary?
  7. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    I still use my one core book - especially for observations. I didn't buy Teachers' Toolkit because it was too expensive but maybe I will one day.
    I used Uni books from the library for my essays. There were also several books in my placement which I was able to use for essays.. That may be unusual.
    If some of the books are related to your actual teaching/course content/curriculum and will be needed at a later date they may be worth buying
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. teachingspurs

    teachingspurs New commenter

    Do not buy any of them. I asked this same question last year and still ended up buying the books as I was excited! I used one of them for one essay!! You can get them all from the library. The library will also be online so you do not need to buy any at all!!!
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Do not buy any!

    If you see one in the Library, read it, and realise hmm ... actually this might be useful in my NQT year too... then you can buy it!
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    When I did my PGCE (several years ago now) I expected there to be more emphasis on the essential books from our reading list - I thought they would be referred to during seminars, specific chapters set as reading for discussion or required for assignments, etc. In fact only a couple were mentioned at all. The rest could be read, or not, in your own time purely for background knowledge. Honestly you won't have a lot of your own time, so it makes sense to borrow books from the library as and when, rather than buying your own copies and the majority sitting unread all year. If you want to get a head start and do some reading over the summer, you could buy a few you think look interesting (or see if they have any in your local library - mine did have a couple).
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    The Craft of the Classroom is by Michael Marland. The most useful book for actually managing classrooms; has three pages for how to get students to open blinds. Much behaviour management seems to pander to the expectation that students will misbehave riotously, and encourage collusion against teacher authority.

    I would purchase the books. You have to interact with the texts. If they are digital, Kindle is ideal. Although Kindle texts were really after my PGCE time, I can't really read my university's terrible online library interface (sorry, it just isn't fit for purpose).
  12. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    A good source of used books is addall.com

    Just double check that books are sourced in the UK.
  13. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    get the tech now book that's good 1

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