Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Spring 2018 Faculty Book Groups

We have a great line-up of faculty reading groups coming up for the Spring term, and we hope you can join us for one of them!

To register, please review the descriptions below, select your favorite, and click on the book cover to register. After you register, please come by PC 237 to pick up your complimentary copy of the book. We're open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Monday through Friday.

Please note: Participants of the Creating Self-Regulated Learners book group at BBC will receive their copy of the book via campus mail.

To ensure productive discussion, participants should be able to commit to all scheduled meetings; please review your calendar to confirm you can attend before signing up.


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

MMC: Tuesdays: 1/23, 1/30 and 2/6 > 2:30pm - 4:00pm > PC 237 

In this visionary exploration into our changing economy, best-selling author Daniel Pink makes a provocative and insightful argument about how abundance, outsourcing, and automation are transforming the world of work. Drawing on research from across disciplines, Pink outlines six fundamentally human abilities-design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning-essential for success in the coming "Conceptual Age." In this group, we will explore answers to pressing questions: How should we prepare our students for this changing world of work? What kinds of learning experiences cultivate creative thinkers and empathic collaborators who can thrive in the marketplace of the future?



Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology

Virtual Book Group - Adobe Connect Sessions
Mondays: 1/29, 2/5, and 2/12 > 1:00pm - 3:00pm

We'll use this concise, nontechnical guide to help you determine how to best use technology to advance learning. "Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller explores how attention, memory, and higher thought processes such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches. The techniques she describes promote retention of course material through Frequent low-stakes testing and practice, and help prevent counterproductive cramming by encouraging better spacing of study. She presents innovative ideas for how to use multimedia effectively, how to take advantage of learners' existing knowledge, and how to motivate students to do their best work and complete the course."



Creating Self-Regulated Learners

BBC: Tuesdays: New Format!
1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27 and 3/6 > 1:00pm - 2:00pm > AC1 184 

We've all heard this complaint: "But I knew everything! Why did I do so badly on the exam?" The ability to assess their own learning is one of the greatest challenges for students confronting complex conceptual material. Participants in this reading group will develop strategies to help students to monitor their own understanding without constant detailed feedback from instructors. These strategies will include writing to learn, teaching students to formulate effective review questions on their own, and teaching students to test their own understanding. We will also discuss ways to raise students' awareness of their unawareness, so they will be motivated to engage with these metacognitive activities.



Intellectual Empathy: Critical Thinking for Social Justice

MMC: Wednesdays: 2/7, 2/14 and 2/21 > 2:00pm - 4:00pm > PC 237 

Intellectual Empathy provides a step-by-step method for facilitating discussions of socially divisive issues. Linker shows educators how potentially transformative conversations break down and how they can be repaired. In contrast to traditional approaches in logic that devalue emotion, Linker acknowledges the affective aspects of reasoning and how emotion is embedded in our understanding of self and other. Using examples from classroom dialogues, online comment forums, news media, and diversity training workshops, readers learn to recognize logical fallacies and critically, yet empathically, assess their own social biases, as well as the structural inequalities that perpetuate social injustice and divide us from each other. In a context where conversations around topics such as equality, bias, privilege, and discrimination are increasingly necessary, yet increasingly fraught, this discussion group will focus on how Linker's work can be applied to improving classroom practice at FIU.



The Meaningful Writing Project

MMC: Mondays: 2/19, 2/26, and 3/5 > 2:00pm - 4:00pm > PC 237 

The Meaningful Writing Project offers readers an affirming story of writing in higher education that shares students' experiences in their own voices. In presenting the results of a three-year study consisting of surveys and interviews of university seniors and their faculty across three diverse institutions, authors Michele Eodice, Anne Ellen Geller, and Neal Lerner consider students' perceptions of their meaningful writing experiences, the qualities of those experiences, and instructors' perspectives on assignment design and delivery. The Meaningful Writing Project provides all faculty interested in teaching and learning with writing an unprecedented look into the writing projects students find meaningful. In this group, we will reflect on successes and failures of our own writing projects, as well as respond to the following questions: How can we contextualize the findings of this study to our own unique context? How can we adapt our existing writing projects to make them more meaningful? What new writing projects could we consider to increase student agency?



The Courage to Teach

MMC: Thursdays: 2/22, 3/1 and 3/8 > 1:30pm - 3:30pm > PC 237 

Who is the self that teaches? How does the quality of my selfhood form - or deform - the way I relate to my students, my subject, my colleagues, my world? How can educational institutions sustain and deepen the selfhood from which good teaching comes? These are the questions at the heart of Palmer's classic text. Renowned educator and author Parker J. Palmer, whose books have sold over 700,000 copies, has been inspiring teachers for over two decades. Through a series of vignettes, interweaving personal experiences and stories with philosophy, history, and science, Palmer moves us through his fundamental argument: "good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher" (p. 10). In this book group, we will delve inward and use poetry to explore and deepen our self-reflection and conversation on why we teach, what it means to teach with "courage," and how we can extend our "capacity for connectedness."



The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion

Virtual Book Group - Adobe Connect & Discussion Board 
Thursdays: 3/22, 3/29, 4/5 > 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Cavanagh's Spark of Learning draws from research in education, psychology and neuroscience and provides successful higher education practice examples across a wide variety of disciplines. Cavanagh reminds educators that thoughtful consideration of course design and the emotional impact of our teaching style can help us to capture our students' attention, harness their working memory, bolster their long-term retention, enhance their motivation and "demonstrate to our students that we see their value and perceive them as worthy partners in intellectual discourse." In this book group participants will learn how to identify the emotions that their course and course material can stir in students, consider the ways in which those emotions might influence student motivation and performance and develop strategies that tap into those emotions to support student learning.



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