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CAT’s faculty reading groups are cross-disciplinary gatherings, offering faculty, adjuncts, and faculty development partners an opportunity to meet and discuss books, on a variety of topics related to teaching and learning, in a relaxed and safe environment.

Reading groups typically last three weeks (one 2-hour meeting per week) and are limited to 10 participants. Faculty may participate in only one reading group per semester. Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. Faculty who agree to participate in a reading group receive a complimentary copy of the book. Reading groups are facilitated by a member of the CAT staff, a faculty fellow or special guest.

We hope that you’ll consider joining a faculty reading group. It’s a great way to meet colleagues from across the university, and be inspired by their ideas and teaching experiences. You’ll find this semester’s list of reading group books below each with a link to register and instructions on how to get your complimentary copy of the book.

Please note: To ensure productive discussion, participants should be able to commit to all scheduled meetings; we ask that you review your calendar to confirm you can attend before signing up.

Book jacket for Ungrading text

Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning

Have you ever found grading discouraging? Is it frustrating to see students overlook comments on their work when the numerical grade satisfies them? Are you concerned about inequities that can emerge through traditional grading? Do you wish you might focus on learning, rather than grading? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then you might be interested in joining us to discuss Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead). Ungrading examines alternatives to quantitative grading in STEM and humanities classes. This book group will offer a three-week discussion followed by a fourth, optional lab where we discuss how to implement the lessons the book offers in our own course designs.

Facilitated by: Dr. Heather Blatt
Associate Professor, English, College of Arts, Sciences, and Education

Theme(s): Learning Centered

Tuesday, February 1st
Tuesday, February 8th
Tuesday, February 15th
Tuesday, March 1st

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Virtual on Zoom


Book Jacket Spark Text

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain

As professors, we assign homework, papers, presentations, and other types of assignments with the intention of creating learning gains for our students. But what if it were possible to enhance those gains even more by including exercise in your assignments? We will read John Ratey's insightful book on the way exercise impacts the brain and will review the big take-home ideas and also look to see if we can find more recent work done since its publication in 2008 to corroborate or conflict with the ideas laid out within. We may discuss ways to encourage physical activity as part of your syllabus for those who may be impressed with the ideas presented in this book (i.e. treadmill zoom review sessions? walk and talk office hours?). This will surely change the way you think about how students can learn best.

Facilitated by: Dr. Joseph Lichter
Teaching Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts, Sciences, and Education

Theme(s): Learning Centered

Monday, February 7th
Monday, February 21st
Monday, March 21st
Monday, April 11th

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Virtual on Zoom


Book Jacket Narrative Medicine

The Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine

Close reading, radical listening, and prompted writing using various text forms in classroom activities.

Narrative medicine began as a "rigorous intellectual and clinical discipline to fortify healthcare with the capacity to skillfully receive the accounts persons give themselves" (Charon, R. et al.). Since then, the skills of narrative medicine have gone beyond the clinical setting into the classrooms of varied disciplines not necessarily linked to health. We invite you to explore the use of these skillful techniques using different media (e.g. text, imagery, and music) to inspire student engagement in the classroom.

Facilitated by: Dr. Amilcar Castellano
Associate Professor, Pathology, College of Medicine

Theme(s): Learning Centered

Thursday, February 10th
Thursday, February 24th
Thursday, March 10th
Thursday, March 17th

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. On-Campus - MMC


Book Jacket How to be Antiracist Text

How to Be an AntiRacist

"Historian and New York Times best-selling author Ibram X. Kendi uses a mix of personal experiences, history, and science to show how a person can go from being racist to anti-racist, and how we can all build a new anti-racist society."

Participants will explore Kendi's vision, discuss implications for teaching and community transformation, and identify specific steps they will take to incorporate antiracist practices in their teaching and in everyday interactions with family, friends, and colleagues.

Theme(s): Inclusive/Culturally Responsive

Wednesday, March 9th
Wednesday, March 23rd
Wednesday, April 6th

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Virtual and On-Campus - BBC

Below you will find a list of our previous books by year.

  • 2021

    Spring 2021

    • How Learning Works
    • Dare to Lead
    • Let's Talk About Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Teaching Series  


    Summer 2021

    • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
    • Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art
    • Using Zines to Support Learner-Centered Pedagogy
    • Equity Talk to Equity Walk: A Guide for Campus-Based Leadership and Practice


    Fall 2021

    • Grading for Equity
    • Changemakers: Educating with Purpose 
    • Inner Work of Racial Justice
    • Online Teaching at its Best


  • 2020

    Spring 2020

    • Deep Work
    • Assessing and Improving Your Teaching


    Summer 2020

    • Cheating Lessons
    • Teaching the Whole Student


  • 2019

    Spring 2019

    • Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism, and Social Marginalization
    • A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
    • How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
    • The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion 


    Fall 2019

    • Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty 
    • Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning
    • Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning
    • The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want
    • Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher
    • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
    • Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
  • 2018

    Spring 2018

    • Creating self-regulated learners
    • The Spark of Learning
    • The Meaningful Writing Project
    • Intellectual Empathy
    • The Courage to Teach
    • Minds Online
    • A Whole New Mind

    Summer 2018

    • The Contemplative Mind in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
    • Assessing and Improving Your Teaching: Strategies and Rubrics for Faculty Growth and Student Learning

    Fall 2018 

    • Using Simulations to Promote Learning in Higher Education
    • The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness
    • Teaching at its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors
    • Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race
  • 2017

    Spring 2017

    • Mindset
    • Blind Spot
    • Minds Online
    • Teach Students How to Learn
    • What The Best College Teachers Do
    • My Word!: Plagiarism and College Culture
    • Collaborative Imagination

    Summer 2017

    • Spark of Learning
    • Creating self-regulated learners
    • Learner Centered Teaching

    Fall 2017

    • What the Best College Teachers Do
    • Teaching the Whole Student
    • The College Fear Factor Reading Group
    • Team based Learning
  • 2016

    Spring 2016

    • Why Don't Students Like School?
    • Mindset
    • Specifications Grading
    • Minds Online
    • The College Fear Factor
    • Blind Spot
    • The Shallows
    • Make it Stick Reading Group
    • Teaching First-Year College Students

    Summer 2016

    • Cheating Lessons

    Fall 2016

    • Engaging Ideas
    • Team Based Learning
    • How Learning Works
    • Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher
    • Teaching to Transgress
    • Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain
    • Small Teaching Reading Group
    • Learner Centered Teaching
  • 2015

    Spring 2015

    • Online Teaching
    • The College Fear Factor
    • How Learning Works
    • How College Works
    • Drive
    • Getting Started With Team-Based Learning
    • Why Don't Students Like School?
    • What It Means for the Classroom
    • Student Engagement Techniques
    • Presumed Incompetent
    • Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with
    • Technology

    Fall 2015

    • What The Best College Teachers Do
    • Effective Instruction for STEM Disciplines
    • How Learning Works
    • Learner Centered Teaching
    • Engaging IDEAS
    • Cheating Lessons
    • Collaborative Learning Techniques
  • 2014

    Spring 2014

    • Paying for the Party
    • Cheating Lessons
    • Now You See It
    • Quiet
    • Blindspot
    • Team-Based Learning
    • Effective Instruction for STEM Disciplines

    Summer 2014

    • Made to Stick
    • Teaching First-Year Students

    Fall 2014

    • Mindset
    • The Online Teaching Survival Guide
    • Faculty Working Group: Teaching Hybrid
    • Classes
    • The Storytelling Animal
  • 2013

    Fall 2013

    • Mindset
    • Effective Instruction for STEM Disciplines
    • Stereotype Threat
    • Teaching First-Year Students
    • Engaging Ideas
    • Pedagogy of Freedom


Have you recently read something inspiring or thought-provoking?
Would you like CAT to bring back a title we haven't offered in a while?
We’d like to know… send us your suggestions.