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Join a Book Discussion where it's OK if you didn't read the book
A Book Discussion where it’s OK if you didn’t read the book!
Are you eager to discuss new and thought-provoking books about teaching? Do you have a pile of books you haven’t yet had the time to read?
This informal discussion group will explore a different book or resource at each meeting. After a brief overview of the book’s main themes, we will spend most of our time engaging in informal discussion about the ideas and their implications for teaching.
Be sure to vote on a future book or suggest your own options below.
Book Discussions will start up again in Fall 2023!
Help steer our exploration by voting on future book discussion options and sharing your own recommendations.Vote on Future Book Discussion Options
Thriving in Academia: Building a Career at a Teaching-Focused Institution, by Pamela Ansburg, Mark Basham, and Regan Gurung
Understanding by Design meets Neuroscience, Jay McTighe & Judy Willis
We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, Bettina L. Love
The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion, Sarah Rose Cavanagh
Convergent Teaching: Tools to Spark Deeper Learning in College, Aaron M. Pallas And Anna Neumann
Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate Into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation, Saundra McGuire
Unraveling Faculty Burnout: Pathways to Reckoning and Renewal, by Rebecca Pope-Ruark
Burnout, a mental health syndrome caused by chronic stress, is endemic to higher education and can unfortunately be seen as a badge of honor in a productivity-obsessed culture. This unique book blends memoir, key research, and reflection opportunities to help not only personally address burnout, but also explore, address and find strategies to mitigate burnout.
Pope-Ruark lays out four pillars of burnout resilience for faculty members: purpose, compassion, connection, and balance. In our discussion, we will explore some of the factors that contribute to burnout and discuss productive strategies for developing balanced, meaningful workplace cultures.
Alternatively, listen to a 30-min podcast interview with the author
Creating an LGBT+ Inclusive University: A Practical Resource Guide for Faculty and Administrators, by Kryss Shane
Book Description: The rates of bullying and dropouts due to lack of safety in colleges and universities and subsequent suicidality for LGBT+ young adults and college students are exponentially higher than for non-LGBT+ people. As a result, many American college students are suffering needlessly, and many faculty and administrators are unsure of what to do. Setting out best practices and professional guidance for creating LGBT+ inclusive learning in schools, this approachable and easy-to-follow book guides faculty, administrators, and other staff toward appropriate and proven ways to create safer learning environments, update campus policies, enhance curricula, and better support LGBT+ college students as they learn.
Author Dr. Kryss Shane is a clinical social worker and affiliate faculty member in MSU Denver’s Department of Social Work. Kryss is the author of numerous books, speaks worldwide on inclusion, and is a cast member on TLC’s “I Am Jazz” and joined us for this discussion.
Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning: Building Expressways to Success, by Andratesha Fritzgerald
In Antiracism and Universal Design for Learning: Building Expressways to Success, Andratesha Fritzgerald explores Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as an effective framework to teach Black and Brown students. Fritzgerald shares vivid portraits of classroom instruction and strategies for teaching. We will use this framework to discuss and brainstorm communication, engagement, and skill-building teaching strategies and methods for our own classrooms.
View a summary of the book
The Art of Gathering, Priya Parker
Do we rely too much on routine and on the conventions of gatherings? At a time when coming together is more important than ever, Priya Parker sets forth a human-centered approach to gathering that is aimed to help us create meaningful, memorable experiences. This book takes us inside events of all kinds to show what works and what doesn’t, and to explore how simple, specific changes can invigorate any group experience. Our discussion will center around what we can apply to the college classroom!
Grading for Equity, Jon Feldman
Read a SIP written about this book discussion!
Grading for Equity challenges nearly all our assumptions about assigning grades. As the cover states, this book tackles, “one of the most challenging and emotionally charged conversations in today’s schools: our inconsistent grading practices and the ways they can inadvertently perpetuate the achievement and opportunity gaps among our students.” Although written from a K-12 perspective, the book provides challenging ideas about issues such as the impact of grades on motivation, common but mathematically inaccurate practices, arguments against grading participation or practice work, and requiring retakes/revisions, among others.
Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It, James Lang
Why is it so hard to get students to pay attention? Conventional wisdom blames phones and personal devices, insisting that access to technology has ruined students’ ability to focus. James Lang argues that this solution obscures a deeper problem: how we teach is often at odds with how students learn. Classrooms are designed to force students into long periods of intense focus, but emerging science reveals that the brain is wired for distraction. We learn best when able to actively seek and synthesize new information. In Distracted, Lang shares ideas about how educators can structure their classrooms less as distraction-free zones and more as environments where they can actively cultivate their students’ attention.
Listen to a 10-minute podcast summary of the book.
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