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Reading Groups

The Center for Teaching Excellence encourages interdisciplinary conversations about teaching and the academic life.  To facilitate this, the center has acquired books which provide rich fodder for general and specific discussions for both new-ish and longer-serving faculty members.

Three Types of Reading Groups

In 2010-2011, the center will facilitate three types of reading groups, as well as individual reading. Faculty members should send an e-mail to indicating their preferred book and kind of reading group:

Interdisciplinary Conversation Groups:  Faculty sign up as individuals and the Center will create a group from those interested in the same text.  These can have a formal facilitator or be more free-form.  Groups will meet generally meet 3-4 times during the semester.

Self-Chosen Discussion Groups:  Faculty can choose their own partners and sign up as a group of 2-10 people (depending on the number of copies of the chosen book).  While we encourage faculty members to select group members across disciplines and years of service, the Center will try to accomodate all groups, including departments.  Faculty can choose how many times they wish to meet.

New Faculty Groups:  Based on last year's experience, some groups of new faculty may prefer to meet together with one longer-serving faculty member.  This provides a chance to discuss topics specific to untenured and newer faculty members' experiences.  

Personal Reading:  Faculty interested in simply reading a book on their own are welcome to indicate which book in an e-mail.  Books not needed for reading groups will be loaned out to individuals on a first-come, first-served basis.  Faculty can also check out books on pedagogy, teaching, new faculty issues, work-life balance, and academia generally from Geisel library.  Please see the extensive list of titles from Geisel Library.

Books Available for Discussion Groups, 2010-2011

For more information on each book, please download the handout below with one paragraph descriptions of each book

For all Faculty Members:

The Courage to Teach:  Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life by Parker J. Palmer (San Francisco:  John Wiley & Sons, 2007 [1998]).  272 pages.   5 copies, plus one at the library.

Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty, Elizabeth Barkley (Jossey Bass, 2009).  416 pages.  4 copies.

 The Course Syllabus:  A Learning-Centered Approach  by Judith Grunert O'Brien, Barbara J. Mills, Margaret W. Cohen and Robert M. Diamond (Jossey Bass, 2008 - second edition).  10 copies, plus one at the library.

For New and New-ish Faculty:

 The Joy of Teaching:  A Practical Guide for New College Instructors by Peter Filene (UNC Press 2005).  176 pages.  6 copies. 

 New Faculty:  A Practical Guide for Academic Beginners by Chris Lucas and John Murray Jr (Palgrave, 2nd edition). 5 copies. 304 pages.

Life on the Tenure Track:  Lessons from the First Year by James M. Lang (Baltimore, MD:  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005).  181 pages.  11 copies.

What They Didn't Teach You in Graduate School :  199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career  by David Gray (Stylus Publishing, 2008).  128 pages.  10 copies.


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