Faculty Reading Roundtables
The Office of Faculty Development is pleased to announce the 2012-2013 Faculty Reading Roundtables.
Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and Universities
College: What it Was, Is, and should Be
Advice for New Faculty Members
Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and Strategies
Learner Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into Practice
Reading Proust for Pleasure: A Flaneur's (Idler's) Stroll
Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern Physics
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
The Skillful Teacher 2nd Ed.
If you are interested in joining one of this year’s FRRs, please return a completed form with your first and second choices for participation.
Abelard to Apple: The Fate of American Colleges and UniversitiesRichard A. Demillo (2011)
This is the latest book to suggest that American higher education needs to face up to a period of radical change (MIT Press). Abelard represents the medieval ideal of scholar/teacher/philosopher while Apple is the world of iTunes U. The central argument of the book turns upon the notion that the vast majority of American college students attend two thousand or so private and public institutions that might be described as the Middle—reputable educational institutions, but not considered equal to the elite and entrenched upper echelon of the Ivy League and other prestigious schools. The author, Richard DeMillo, has a warning for these “Middle” schools: If you do not change, you are heading for irrelevance and marginalization. He offers ten rules to help colleges reinvent themselves (including a “Focus on what differentiates you”) and argues for a focus on teaching undergraduates. DeMillo’s message—for colleges and universities, students, parents, employers, and politicians—is that any university can change course if it defines a compelling value proposition (one not based in "institutional envy" of Harvard and Berkeley) and imagines an institution that delivers it.
Richard A. DeMillo is Distinguished Professor of Computing, Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Twenty-first Century Universities at Georgia Institute of Technology. DeMillo is the author of more than 100 articles, books, and patents. He also has held key positions outside of academe, having served as director of the Computer and Computation Research Division of the National Science Foundation and as the first chief technology officer at Hewlett-Packard.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Abelard-Apple-American-Colleges-Universities/dp/0262015803
College: What it Was, Is, and should BeAndrew Delbanco (2012)
As the commercialization of American higher education accelerates, more and more students are coming to college with the narrow aim of obtaining a pre-professional credential. The traditional four-year college experience—an exploratory time for students to discover their passions and test ideas and values with the help of teachers and peers--is in danger of becoming a thing of the past. In College, prominent cultural critic Andrew Delbanco offers a trenchant defense of such an education, and warns that it is becoming a privilege reserved for the relatively rich. In arguing for what a true college education should be, he demonstrates why making it available to as many young people as possible remains central to America's democratic promise. In a brisk and vivid historical narrative, Delbanco explains how the idea of college arose in the colonial period from the Puritan idea of the gathered church, how it struggled to survive in the nineteenth century in the shadow of the new research universities, and how, in the twentieth century, it slowly opened its doors to women, minorities, and students from low-income families. He describes the unique strengths of America's colleges in our era of globalization. While recognizing the growing centrality of science, technology, and vocational subjects in the curriculum, he mounts a vigorous defense of a broadly humanistic education for all. Acknowledging the serious financial, intellectual, and ethical challenges that all colleges face today, Delbanco considers what is at stake in the urgent effort to protect these venerable institutions for future generations.
Andrew Delbanco is the Mendelson Family Chair of American Studies and the Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His many books include Melville: His World and Work (Vintage), which won the Lionel Trilling Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times book prize in biography. He is a recipient of the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his writing that spans the literature of Melville and Emerson to contemporary issues in higher education.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/College-What-Was-Is-Should/dp/0691130736
Advice for New Faculty MembersRobert Boice (2000)
A unique and essential guide to the start of a successful academic career, just as its title suggests, it advocates moderation in ways of working, based on the single-most reliable difference between new faculty who thrive and those who struggle. By following its practical, easy-to-use rules, novice faculty can learn to teach with the highest levels of student approval, involvement, and comprehension, with only modest preparation times and a greater reliance on spontaneity and student participation. Similarly, new faculty can use its rule-based practices to write with ease, thereby increasing productivity, creativity, and the ability to publish through brief, daily sessions of focused and relaxed work. It also emphasizes how they can socialize more successfully by learning about often-misunderstood aspects of academic culture, including mentoring. Each rule in Advice for New Faculty Members has been tested on hundreds of new faculty and proven effective over the long run--even in attaining permanent appointment. It is the first guidebook to move beyond anecdotes and surmises for its directives, based on the author's extensive experience and solid research in the areas of staff and faculty development.
Robert Boice is Professor Emeritus at SUNY Stony Brook.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Advice-New-Faculty-Members-Nihil/dp/0205281591
Doing Diversity in Higher Education: Faculty Leaders Share Challenges and StrategiesWinifred Brown-Glaude, Editor (2009)
Using case studies from universities throughout the nation, Doing Diversity in Higher Education examines the role faculty play in improving diversity on their campuses. The product of a four-year project funded by the Ford Foundation, case studies review diversity efforts at a variety of institutions, including publics, privates, historically black colleges and universities, and the Ivy League. Most of the authors were participants in the subjects they describe, and through a mix of personal anecdotes and institutional analyses, they have produced both a collection of best practices and a summary of the perils and pitfalls that continue to face campus diversity efforts today. Each essay emphasizes that the power of professors to enhance diversity has long been underestimated, their initiatives often hidden from view. Winifred Brown-Glaude and her contributors uncover major themes and offer faculty and administrators a blueprint for conquering issues facing campuses across the country. Topics include how to dismantle hostile microclimates, sustain and enhance accomplishments, deal with incomplete institutionalization, and collaborate with administrators. The contributors' essays portray working on behalf of diversity as a genuine intellectual project rather than a faculty "service."
Winifred Brown-Glaude is Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at The College of New Jersey.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0813544475/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Learner Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into PracticeTerry Doyle (2012)
This book presents the research-based case that Learner Centered Teaching (LCT) offers the best means to optimize student learning in college, and offers examples and ideas for putting it into practice, as well the underlying rationale. It also starts from the premise that many faculty are much closer to being learner centered teachers than they think, but don’t have the full conceptual understanding of the process to achieve its full impact. There is sometimes a gap between what we would like to achieve in our teaching and the knowledge and strategies needed to make it happen. LCT keeps all of the good features of a teacher-centered approach and applies them in ways that are in better harmony with how our brains learn. It, for instance, embraces the teacher as expert as well as the appropriate use of lecture, while also offering new, effective ways to replace practices that don’t optimizing student learning. Neuroscience, biology and cognitive science research have made it clear that it is the one who does the work who does the learning. Many faculty do too much of the work for their students, which results in diminished student learning. To enable faculty to navigate this shift, Terry Doyle presents an LCT-based approach to course design that draws on current brain research on cognition and learning; on addressing the affective concerns of students; on proven approaches to improve student’s comprehension and recall; on transitioning from “teller of knowledge” to a “facilitator of learning”; on the design of authentic assessment strategies – such as engaging students in learning experiences that model the real world work they will be asked to do when they graduate; and on successful communication techniques.
Terry Doyle is an author, educational consultant and Professor of Reading at Ferris State University. From 1998 to 2009, he served as the Senior Instructor for Faculty Development and Coordinator of the New to Ferris Faculty Transition Program for the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Learner-Centered-Teaching-Research-Practice/dp/1579227422
Reading Proust for Pleasure: A Flaneur's (Idler's) Stroll
This is an ongoing Reading Roundtable that reads and discusses the Modern Library English translation of Marcel Proust's remarkable novel, "A la recherche du temps perdu" ("In Search of Lost Time"), published in seven parts, or volumes, between 1913 and 1927. The work traces the narrator's search for identity and vocation from the 1880's to the years following WWI, at the same time documenting the changes in Parisian society as the middle class invades--and invigorates--the aristocracy. Proust's depictions of socialites, salons, and lovers incorporate his deep appreciation of philosophy, politics, science, technology, art, architecture, and music as well as his keen insight into matters of gender, psychology, and the nature of time and memory. Our discussions will draw on the resources of members from varied disciplines to illuminate these topics for each other. But the primary emphasis will be reading for pleasure--it's not often one encounters a text that is rewarding on so many levels. The goal is to read a volume per semester, so that members of the Roundtable can immerse themselves gradually in Proust's world. The text for fall 2012 is The Guermantes Way, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin and revised by J.D. Enright (The Modern Library, 1998, paperback). If you were part of last year’s group, or if you have read the first two volumes on your own, or if you just want to scramble to catch up, you are welcome join!
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Guermantes-Way-Marcel-Proust/dp/1905432682
Genius: Richard Feynman and Modern PhysicsJames Gleick (1994)
Richard Feynman was the most brilliant and influential physicist of our time. Architect of quantum theories, enfant terrible of the atomic bomb project, caustic inquisitor on the space shuttle commission, ebullient bongo-player and storyteller - Feynman played a bewildering assortment of roles in the science of the post-war era. This biography/study offers a brilliant interweaving of Richard Feynman's colorful life and a detailed and accessible account of his theories and experiments.
James Gleick is an American author, journalist and biographer whose best-selling books include The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood and Chaos: Making a New Science. Three of his books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award Finalists.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Richard-Feynman-Modern-Physics/dp/0349105324
This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human ObsessionDaniel J. Levitin (2007)
Why do we love the music that we do? How does a composer exploit unconsciously different functions of brain produce the music that we enjoy? Why do those jingles or a popular melody get stuck in our heads? Daniel Levitin explores the topics of rhythm, timbre and pitch from a musical perspective and puts them in the context of how the brain analyzes these features of music. He explores music from the framework of music theory, music anthropology, philosophy, neurochemistry and cognitive neuroscience to help the reader understand why music is so central to our lives. The book is sometimes a bit opinionated, sometimes a bit speculative, but always entertaining. Daniel Levitin is the ideal guide for this journey. He was a studio musician, music producer and sound engineer before becoming a cognitive neuroscientist with many professional publications and presentations on how the brain interprets music.
Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Music at McGill University, Montreal. He also holds appointments in the program in Behavioral Neuroscience, the School of Computer Science, and the Faculty of Education. He wrote the best selling books This Is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs. Before becoming a neuroscientist, he was a music producer, session musician and sound engineer. He is extensively published both in the professional literature and in popular magazines and newspapers.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/This-Your-Brain-Music-Obsession/dp/0452288525
The Skillful Teacher 2nd Ed.Stephen Brookfield
According to Trish Holt, this book on college level teaching is truly a classic. Her graduate students in Adult Education and Community Leadership read it for class and say it is the one book they will never sell or give away. The insights and suggestions found in this book are all an incoming professor would need to start off a semester on the right foot. Many of her students claim that they are also relieved to find that they are not the only ones to experience the so called "impostor syndrome." As these two sentences make plain: "Impostorship is the sense learners report that at some deeply embedded level they possess neither the talent nor the right to become college students. Students who feel like impostors imagine that they are constantly on the verge of being found out, of being revealed as being too dumb or unprepared for college-level learning" (76). The Skillful Teacher is a comprehensive guide that shows how to thrive on the unpredictability and diversity of classroom life and includes insights developed from the hundreds of workshops conducted by the author. This new edition also reflects the many changes that have come about in the decade since the book was first published and includes new chapters that deal with emerging topics such as classroom diversity and teaching in online learning environments.
Stephen Brookfield is an internationally acclaimed scholar in adult education who holds the title of Distinguished University Professor at The University of Saint Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Before that he was a Professor of Higher and Adult Education at Columbia University in NYC for ten years.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Skillful-Teacher-Technique-Responsiveness/dp/0787980668