Books by Dr. Thomas Armstrong

(For foreign language editions of these books, go to Translations Page)

If Einstein Ran the Schools: Revitalizing U.S. Education

Over the past thirty-five years, U.S. education has been ”reformed” by politicians, corporate executives, and educational bureaucrats to place more importance on standardized testing, a standardized curriculum (The Common Core), and ”rigorous” teaching practices.  The result?  Student achievement levels are not markedly better than they were in thirty-five years ago.  But what if we turned the reins of leadership over to the real culture-makers of civilization? People like Albert Einstein, Jane Goodall, Martin Luther King Jr., Doris Lessing, the Dalai Lama, Rachel Carson, and more?  It bears mentioning that none of these illustrious figures have supported standardized testing or standardized anything. Instead, they’ve talked about imagination, curiosity, playfulness, creativity, love of learning, care for nature, compassion, tolerance, individuality, wonder, beauty, and diversity.  If Einstein Ran the Schools takes up each of these twelve qualities in turn and shows how each one is already being integrated into schools across the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.  These model classrooms and schools offer the reader a template through which to understand and transform our schools into living centers where children and adolescents are driven, not by test preparation and grade grubbing, but by their own passions for learning and desire to make the world a better place in which to live.  Publisher:  Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2019. ISBN-10: 1440869774; ISBN-13: 978-1440869778.

Smarts! Everybody’s Got Them

Being intelligent is one of the highest values in our culture.  However, many young children begin forming an impression of themselves as ”dumb” or ”stupid” early on in their development based on the feedback they receive from their friends (”Dumb dumb! you made a mistake!”), relatives (”You know Suzy isn’t quite as [whispering] smart as her brother David”), and teachers (”Come on Joseph, let me see you show some intelligence for a change!”).  Smarts! Everybody’s Got Them is a picture book for kids from preschool through grade two, which helps them re-frame many of their activities and behaviors as evidence of their intelligence.  Based on Howard Gardner’s renowned ”theory of multiple intelligences,” the book emphasizes that each person is born with the potential to develop at least eight different kinds of ”smarts,” but they have to work at them in order to bring them into fruition.  Creatively illustrated by artist Tim Palin, this book can help assuage the hurt feelings and damaged self-concepts of kids who’ve been called stupid, and help inspire all kids to engage in productive activities that will stretch their smarts and enrich their lives.  Publisher:  Free Spirit Publications, 2019, ISBN-10: 1631983660; ISBN-13: 978-1631983665.

Cover of Book

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm

Mindfulness practices in the classroom have emerged as a powerful new trend in education.  This book provides everything you need to know as an educator to get started using mindfulness with your students or to extend your already existing program in new directions.  In this book you’ll learn the basic principles involved in mindfulness practices, examine ways of applying mindfulness both in individual classrooms and on a school-wide basis, discover ways of adapting these practices to different age and grade levels, and explore ways of integrating mindfulness as a topic into areas of the curriculum such as literature, math, science, and history.  In the book, you’ll also learn about the growing research base for using mindfulness with children and adolescents in schools, discover how mindfulness affects the brain in reducing stress and creating well being, become familiar with the growing trend of teaching kindness and compassion to students as an adjunct to mindfulness practices, and acquire mindfulness skills yourself as an educator to help you reduce stress on the job.  Finally, the book provides guidelines for making sure that mindfulness practices in public school environments are delivered in a purely secular way so that they don’t violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with regard to the separation of church and state. The book concludes with an extensive list of references and a comprehensive resource guide to apps, children’s literature, training organizations, and self-help and professional books to direct further study.  Publisher:  ASCD –  ISBN-13: 9781416627944 – ISBN-10: 1416627944.

The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life

The core of this book consists of twelve chapters, each describing of a different period of life, with its own unique changes, struggles, and growth:  prebirth, birth, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, late childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, midlife, mature adulthood, late adulthood, and death & dying.  Each chapter includes practical activities showing how to apply the knowledge about that stage of life to oneself, to friends and family, and to the community, and it also includes a special “gift” which that stage of life brings to humanity (e.g. the gift of early childhood is playfulness, the gift of late adulthood is wisdom).  The book concludes with a comprehensive bibliography of further reading, lists of organizations, and a filmography of movies that focus on each of the 12 stages of life.  Publisher: Ixia Press/Dover – ISBN-10: 0486831809; ISBN-13: 978-0486831800

Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 4th EditionMultiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 4th Edition

Buy from Amazon

Buy from the publisher – ASCD

Buy from Barnes and Noble

With nearly a half million copies of this book in print, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom provides a nuts-and-bolts teacher’s guide to the theory of multiple intelligences, including chapters on lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment, classroom management, identifying students’ intelligences, and more. This fourth edition provides new chapters on personalized learning, neurodiversity, and new learning technologies, as well an appendix of lesson plans aligned to Common Core State Standards.  Publisher: ASCD- ISBN  978-1416625094

The Myth of the ADHD Child, Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion

Read Excerpts for ADDitude Magazine

Since the 1995 publication of Dr. Armstrong’s pioneering book The Myth of the ADD Child, there has been a three-fold increase in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD in the United States, most of whom are given powerful psychoactive drugs with negative side effects.  In this fully revised and updated edition, Armstrong draws on new studies showing how America’s ADHD epidemic is, in fact, due in large part to change in the cultural landscape such as children being pushed to learn to read and write as early as kindergarten, harsher demands on boys, especially, to sit still and be less wild and ‘boyish,’ greater consumption of video games and other hyper media, and higher levels of both child and familial stress.  In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Armstrong argues that we need to look more closely at the root causes of the symptoms typically associated with ADHD before resorting to medications which are potentially dangerous for developing minds.  With over 50 new non-drug strategies added to the original 50 proven (and updated) strategies from the previous edition, this revised edition of The Myth of the ADHD Child provides powerful tools for assisting children in overcoming attention and behavior problems.  The Myth of the ADHD Child gives parents and teachers new hope and inspiration for helping kids flourish in school, thrive at home, and succeed in life.  Publisher:  Tarcher/Perigee. ISBN 9978-0-14-311150-4

The Power of the Adolescent Brain: Strategies for Teaching Middle and High School Students

Students at the secondary school level are often considered to be the most challenging group to teach. However, in this book Dr. Armstrong describes how the last fifteen years of research in the adolescent brain can revolutionize our understanding of how to reach and teach kids during this turbulant stage of their lives. Using brain scan studies and other scientific data as a guide, this book describes eight fundamental interventions that should be part of every secondary school curriculum including affective education, peer learning connections, metacognition, opportunities to choose, expressive arts, self-awareness activities, learning through the body, and real life experiences. For each of these interventions, Dr. Armstrong describes several specific strategies and illustrates them with examples from schools and school districts around the world. He also provides a series of lesson plans at the end of the book to illustrate how these interventions can be immediately put into action in such curriculum areas as literature (Romeo and Juliet), science (genetics), history (the Vietnam war), mathematics (interpreting statistics), and prevention.programs (tobacco prevention).  Filled with practical advice and sound science, this book should become an essential guide for any middle school or high school teacher or administrator who wishes to base their instruction around ”adolescent brain friendly” practices.  Publisher:  ASCD.  ISBN 978-1-4166-2187-4.

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life

Read sample chapters

Read Study Guide

A revolutionary new book that promises to transform special education.  Suggests that we use a “diversity” model for students with special needs, rather than a “disability” paradigm.  Explores the strengths, talents, and abilities of students with special needs (autism, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders). Shows how to construct a positive day-to-day learning experience that fits the unique needs of each child, using key learning strategies, assistive technologies/Universal Design for Learning, human resources, role models, environmental modifications, and affirmative career aspirations. Explains why applying these strength-based concepts makes it easier to align instruction of special needs students with the Common Core State Standards. Provides examples of how to teach and assess specific English language arts and mathematics standards for students with different special needs. Even if you rarely deal with special needs students, taking account of your students’ neurodiversity is an essential new insight for your practice.  Publisher: ASCD. ISBN-10:  1416614834  ISBN-13:  978-14166148.

You’re Smarter Than You ThinkYou’re Smarter Than You Think: A Kid’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences

This book for upper elementary and middle school kids explains the basics of multiple intelligences theory in easy to understand language that empowers them to make the most of their learning potential in school and in life. Provides quick quizzes to help identify the many ways of being smart (word smart, picture smart, self smart, music smart, people smart, body smart, nature smart, and logic smart), provides hundreds of ways to develop all eight kinds of smarts, and offers tips and resources for making the most of one’s strongest intelligences and strengthening the others.  This new edition contains information and strategies for developing a proposed 9th intelligence: existential or ”life smart.” An excellent book for helping kids understand how they learn best.  Publisher: Free Spirit – ISBN 1-57542-113-5.

The Best Schools: How Human Development Research Should Inform Educational PracticeThe Best Schools: How Human Development Research Should Inform Educational Practice

Read sample chapters.

Read Study Guide.

Explains how the real aims of education have been lost in the current push to raise test scores through what Dr. Armstrong calls “the academic achievement discourse.”.  Recommends that we return to the great developmental thinkers of the past, including Piaget, Montessori, Dewey, Steiner, to create a new discourse based on how children develop through the stages of life, rather than how they perform academically.  Suggests that early childhood development focus on play, elementary school gear the curriculum toward learning how the world works, middle schools create programs that develop the young adolescent’s social, emotional, and meta-cognitive growth, and high schools emphasize preparing students to live independently in the real world.  Foreword by David Elkind.   Publisher:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  ISBN-10: 141660457X; ISBN-13: 978

The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing: Making the Words Come Alive

Read Sample Chapters

Read Study Guide

Shows teachers and parents how to use the theory of multiple intelligences to help kids become more effective readers and writers by connecting words to images, feelings, logic, physical expression, music, social interaction, oral language, and nature.  Provides hundreds of ideas, strategies, tips and resources for teaching everything from grammar and spelling to word decoding and reading comprehension.  Useful for pre-kindergarten through college level.  Publisher:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. ISBN 0-87120-718-4.

7 Kinds of Smart Revised7 (Seven) Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences

A self-help book for adults and older students; includes checklists for identifying one’s multiple intelligences, exercises and tips for developing them, and ideas on using one’s intelligences to overcome learning difficulties, enhance relationships, and improve work satisfaction.  Publisher:  Plume (Penguin-Putnam).  ISBN 0-452-28137-7.

In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences, Revised and Updated.In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child’s Multiple Intelligences

A practical book for both parents and teachers on multiple intelligences. Includes chapters on using the imagination, the body, and the feelings in learning, as well as chapters on holding positive expectations, having a patient attitude, and helping children with homework using multiple intelligences. This revised edition includes a special resource guide with games, software, organizations, books, learning materials, and internet sites geared toward each of the eight intelligences.  Publisher:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam (Penguin-Putnam).  ISBN 1-58542-051-4.

The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain (published in hardcover as Neurodiversity)

A new term has emerged from the disability movement in the past decade to help change the way we think about neurological disorders: Neurodiversity. The number of categories of illnesses listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the past fifty years. With so many people affected by our  growing “culture of disabilities,” it no longer makes sense to hold on to the deficit-ridden idea of  neuropsychological illness.With the sensibility of Oliver Sacks and Kay Redfield Jamison, psychologist Thomas Armstrong offers a revolutionary perspective that reframes many neuropsychological disorders as part of the natural diversity of the human brain rather than as definitive illnesses. The Power of Neurodiversity emphasizes their positive dimensions, showing how people with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and other conditions have inherent evolutionary advantages that, matched with the appropriate environment or ecological niche, can help them achieve dignity and wholeness in their lives.  Publisher:  DaCapo Lifelong/Perseus. ISBN-10: 0738215244   ISBN-13: 978-0738215242

ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom.ADD / ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom

Read Sample Chapters

Read Study Guide

Provides a broad critique of the ADD/ADHD paradigm, examines alternative ways of viewing children with attention and behavior difficulties, and explores specific learning strategies teachers and parents can use to help kids with this label achieve success in the classroom, and realize their full potential in life.  Publisher:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development  – ISBN 0-87120-359-6.

Awakening Genius in the ClassroomAwakening Genius in the Classroom

Read Sample Chapters

Read Study Guide

A book for educators that focuses on twelve qualities of genius that are at the heart of the learning process: curiosity, playfulness, imagination, creativity, wonder, wisdom, inventiveness, vitality, sensitivity, flexibility, humor, and joy. Shows how to recognize these qualities, what shuts them down in the home, school, and in the popular culture, and how to reawaken these qualities in the classroom. Publisher:  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.  ISBN 0-87120-302-2

The Radiant ChildThe Radiant Child

Out of Print – Buy this book used

A guide to the “higher realms of human nature” in childhood. Includes descriptions of peak experiences, archetypal dreams, and other transpersonal experiences of children and a look at the implications for educators, parents, and mental health practitioners.  Publisher:  Quest Books.  ISBN 0-8356-0600-7.


Awakening Your Child’s Natural GeniusAwakening Your Child’s Natural Genius: Enhancing Curiosity, Creativity, and Learning Ability

Out of Print – Buy this book used

This inspirational and practical guide includes chapters on whole language, hands-on-math and science, music, drawing, giftedness, testing, the role of the home in learning, technology, cooperative learning, and Montessori and Waldorf education. Publisher:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam (Penguin-Putnam). ISBN – 0-87477-608-2.

To order multiple quantities of Dr. Armstrong’s books and videos at a discount:

  • If Einstein Ran the Schools:  Revitalizing U.S. Education, Praeger, email; Phone: 800-368-6868 (Press 3);Fax: 805-685-9685
  • DaCapo Press/Perseus – (The Power of Neurodiversity). Special Markets Department, Perseus Books Group, 44 Farnsworth Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02210, Phone: 1-800-255-1514, Fax: 1-800-324-3791
  • Penguin Random House books (In Their Own Way, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child) – 40% discount for author appearances –  call 1-866-206-5865.
  • ASCD books (Mindfulness in the Classroom; The Best Schools, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 4th ed., The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing, Awakening Genius in the Classroom, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, Neurodiversity in the Classroom, The Power of the Adolescent Brain   10-49 copies – 10% discount, 50 or more – 15% discount, for more than 500 copies of a single book call 800-933-2723,press 1, then ext. 5634 or 703-575-5634.
  • Free Spirit (You’re Smarter Than You Think, Smarts! Everybody’s God Them).  Please call 1-800-735-7323  for information on quantity discounts

To get permission to use material from Dr. Armstrong’s books and videos in other publications, for academic courses, or for other uses:

  • Penguin Random House Books books (In Their Own Way, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.H.D. Child) – Contact:  Jeffery Corrick – –  – 212- 366-2684 .
  • ASCD books (Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 2nd Ed., The Multiple Intelligences of Reading and Writing, Awakening Genius in the Classroom, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom):  Contact: Rights and Permissions, ASCD 1704 North Beauregard, Alexandria, VA 23311. phone: 703-575-5749 or 800-933-2723.  fax: 703-757-5405. email:
  • Free Spirit (You’re Smarter Than You Think)


Share This: