Below, find a selection of our previous Book Club titles, all of which are available for loan from the CATL Library.
By Rebekah Nathan
After years of teaching, Rebekah Nathan, a professor of anthropology at a large state university, realized that she no longer understood the behavior and attitudes of her students. Fewer and fewer participated in class discussion, tackled the assigned reading, or came to discuss problems during office hours. Nathan decided to apply to her own university and enrolled as a freshman for the academic year. My Freshman Year provides a compelling account of college life that should be read by students, parents, professors, university administrators, and anyone else concerned about the state of higher education in America today. She also identifies fundamental misperceptions, misunderstandings, and mistakes on both sides of the educational divide that negatively affect the college experience.
- Learn more about Cathy Small who wrote under the pen name Rebekah Nathan
- Read and interview of Cathy Small from the New York Times
- Read a review of My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Anthropology Review
By Claude M. Steele
The acclaimed social psychologist offers an insider's look at his research and groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity. Claude M. Steele, who has been called "one of the few great social psychologists," offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these "stereotype threats" and reshaping American identities.
- Learn more about Claude M. Steele
- Listen to an NPR segment about Whistling Vivaldi
- Read a review of Whistling Vivaldi from the harvard Educational Review
By José Antonio Bowen (Fall 2013)
Introducing a new way to think about higher education, learning, and technology that prioritizes the benefits of the human dimension. José Bowen recognizes that technology is profoundly changing education and that if students are going to continue to pay enormous sums for campus classes, colleges will need to provide more than what can be found online and maximize "naked" face-to-face contact with faculty. Here, he illustrates how technology is most powerfully used outside the classroom, and, when used effectively, how it can ensure that students arrive to class more prepared for meaningful interaction with faculty. Bowen offers practical advice for faculty and administrators on how to engage students with new technology while restructuring classes into more active learning environments.
By Ken Bain (Spring 2013)
The author of the best-selling book What the Best College Teachers Do is back with more humane, doable, and inspiring help, this time for students who want to get the most out of college - and every other educational enterprise, too.
Combining academic research on learning and motivation with insights drawn from interviews with people who have won Nobel Prizes, Emmys, fame, or the admiration of people in their field, Ken Bain identifies the key attitudes that distinguished the best college students from their peers.
- Learn more about Ken Bain
- Read a review of What the Best College Students Do in Inside Higher Ed
- Read an interview with Ken Bain in the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Portal
When Cathy Davidson and Duke University gave free iPods to the freshman class in 2003, critics said they were wasting their money. Yet when students in practically every discipline invented academic uses for their music players, suddenly the idea could be seen in a new light-as an innovative way to turn learning on its head.
This radical experiment is at the heart of Davidson's inspiring new book. Using cutting-edge research on the brain, she shows how "attention blindness" has produced one of our society's greatest challenges. Davidson introduces us to visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas-from schools with curriculums built around video games to companies that train workers using virtual environments-will open the doors to new ways of working and learning.
- Learn more about Cathy Davidson
- Read a review of Now You See It by Tara DaPra, associate lecturer of English Composition and CATL Book Club participant
- Read a review of Now You See it from the Wall Street Journal
"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?
Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet's intellectual and cultural consequences. Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
- Learn more about Nicholas Carr
- Read a review of The Shallows by Leif Nelson, Manager of the UWGB LTC and CATL Book Club participant
Parker J. Palmer
Parker J. Palmer builds on his own extensive experience as an inner life explorer and social change activist to examine the personal and social infrastructure of American politics. In Healing the Heart of Democracy, he points the way to a politics rooted in the commonwealth of compassion and creativity still found among "We the People."
Healing the Heart of Democracy names the "habits of the heart" we need to revitalize our politics and shows how they can be formed in the everyday venues of our lives. Palmer proposes practical and hopeful methods to hold the tensions of our differences in a manner that can help restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
- Learn more about Parker J. Palmer
- Read a review of Healing the Heart of Democracy by Publisher's Weekly
John Tierney & Roy Baumeister
In Willpower, the pioneering researcher Roy F. Baumeister collaborates with renowned New York Times science writer John Tierney to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control.
Combining the best of modern social science with practical wisdom, Baumeister and Tierney share the definitive compendium of modern lessons in willpower. As our society has moved away from the virtues of thrift and self-denial, it often feels helpless because we face more temptations than ever. But we also have more knowledge and better tools for taking control of our lives. However we define happiness we won't reach it without mastering self-control.
- Learn more about Roy Baumeister
- Read a review of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by The New York Times
Engaging students in active learning is a predominant theme in today's classrooms. To promote active learning, teachers across the disciplines and in all kinds of colleges are incorporating collaborative learning into their teaching.
Collaborative Learning Techniques is a scholarly and well-written handbook that guides teachers through all aspects of group work, providing solid information on what to do, how to do it, and why it is important to student learning. Synthesizing the relevant research and good practice literature, the authors present detailed procedures for thirty collaborative learning techniques (CoLTs) and offer practical suggestions on a wide range of topics, including how to form groups, assign roles, build team spirit, solve problems, and evaluate and grade student participation.
- Learn more about Elizabeth Barkley
Parker J. Palmer, Arthur Zajonc & Megan Scribner
"A Call to Renewal" is a call to revisit the roots and reclaim the vision of higher education. The Heart of Higher Education proposes an approach to teaching and learning that honors the whole human being-mind, heart, and spirit.
The book offers a rich interplay of analysis, theory, and proposals for action from two educators and writers who have contributed to developing the field of integrative education over the past few decades. The Heart of Higher Education is for all who are new to the field of holistic education, all who want to deepen their understanding of its challenges, and all who want to practice and promote this vital approach to teaching and learning on their campuses.
- Learn more about Parker J. Palmer and Arthur Zajonc
- Read a review of The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal by Character Clearinghouse
Keeping students involved, motivated, and actively learning is challenging educators across the country, yet good advice on how to accomplish this has not been readily available. Student Engagement Techniques is a comprehensive resource that offers college teachers a dynamic model for engaging students.
The ready-to-use format shows how to apply each of the book's techniques in the classroom and includes purpose, preparation, procedures, examples, online implementation, variations and extensions, observations and advice, and key resources.
- Learn more about Elizabeth Barkley
James E. Zull
Neuroscience tells us that the products of the mind are the result of the interactions of the biological brain with our senses and the physical world: in short, that thinking and learning are the products of a biological process. This realization, that learning actually alters the brain by changing the number and strength of synapses, offers a powerful foundation for rethinking teaching practice and one's philosophy of teaching.
James Zull invites teachers in higher education to accompany him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and to discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. "The Art of Changing the Brain" is grounded in the practicalities and challenges of creating effective opportunities for deep and lasting learning, and of dealing with students as unique learners.
- Learn more about James E. Zull
K. Patricia Cross & Mimi Harris Steadman
Classroom Research is designed for use in faculty discussion groups, workshops, and seminars to prepare discipline-oriented faculty for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The book's real-life case studies illustrate basic principles of learning and provide provocative materials for discussion along with practical suggestions for research that can be conducted by faculty from all disciplines in their own classrooms.
- Learn more about K. Patricia Cross
Back to top of the page
Gerald Graff argues that our schools and colleges make the intellectual life seem more opaque, narrowly specialized, and beyond normal learning capacities than it is or needs to be. Left clueless in the academic world, many students view the life of the mind as a secret society for which only an elite few qualify.
In a departure from standard diatribes against academia, Graff shows how academic unintelligibility is unwittingly reinforced not only by academic jargon and obscure writing, but by the disconnection of the curriculum and the failure to exploit the many connections between academia and popular culture. Graff offers a wealth of practical suggestions for making the culture of ideas and arguments more accessible to students, showing how students can enter the public debates that permeate their lives.
- Learn more about Gerald Graff
What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.
The short answer is--it's not what teachers do, it's what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. The best teachers know their subjects inside and out--but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.
- Learn more about Ken Bain
Additional Reading Group Books
- Portrait of the Student as a Young Wolf, Darby Lewes
- Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, Stephen Brookfield
- Advice for New Faculty Members, Robert Boice
- Discussion as a Way of Teaching, Brookfield, Stephen & Preskill, Stephen
- Engaging Large Classes, Christine Stanley and Erin Porter
- Exploring Signature Pedagogies, Regan Gurung, Nancy Chick, & Aeron Haynie
- Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses, Mary E. Huba and Jann E. Freed
- Learning from Change, Deborah DeZure
- Teaching and Learning Online: New Pedagogies for New Technology, John Stephenson
- To Improve the Academy, Devorah Lieberman & Catherine Wehlburg