Pedagogy Reading List

The Faculty Fellows of the Teaching and Learning Center have assembled this list of excellent books on the topic of teaching and learning. If you are interested in any of these titles, they are all located in the T+LC Lending Library. You may check the availability or reserve a title through Lynchburg OneSearch.

The Art of Possibility

Rosamund Stone Zander

Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander's experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander's genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment. The authors' harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

The Courage to Teach

Parker J. Palmer

Wisdom that's been inspiring, motivating, and guiding teachers for two decades, The Courage to Teach speaks to the joys and pains that teachers of every sort know well. Over the last 20 years, the book has helped countless educators reignite their passion, redirect their practice, and deal with the many pressures that accompany their vital work.

Enriched by a new Foreword from Diana Chapman Walsh, the book builds on a simple premise: good teaching can never be reduced to technique. Good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher, that core of self where intellect, emotion, and spirit converge--enabling 'live encounters' between teachers, students, and subjects that are the key to deep and lasting learning.

Good teachers love learners, learning, and the teaching life in a way that builds trust with students and colleagues, animates their daily practice, and keeps them coming back tomorrow.

  • Reclaim your own vision and purpose against the threat of burn-out
  • Understand why good teaching cannot be reduced to technique alone
  • Explore and practice the relational traits that good teachers have in common
  • Learn how to forge learning connections with your students and "teach across the gap"

Whether used for personal study, book club exploration, or professional development, TheCourage to Teach is rich with time-honored wisdom, and contemporary clarity about the ancient arts of teaching and learning.

Creating Significant Learning Experiences

L. Dee Fink

"Dee Fink challenges our conventional assumptions and practices and offers an insightful approach to expanding our learning goals, making higher education more meaningful. This is a gem of a book that every college teacher should read." —Ken Bain, author, What the Best College Students Do

Since the original publication of L. Dee Fink's Creating Significant Learning Experiences, higher education has continued to move in two opposite directions: more institutions encourage faculty to focus on research, obtaining grants, and publishing, while accreditation agencies, policy-makers, and students themselves emphasize the need for greater attention to the quality of teaching and learning.

Now the author has updated his bestselling classic, providing busy faculty with invaluable conceptual and procedural tools for instructional design. Step by step, Fink shows how to use a taxonomy of significant learning and systematically combine the best research-based practices for learning-centered teaching with a teaching strategy in a way that results in powerful learning experiences.

This edition addresses new research on how people learn, active learning, and student engagement; includes illustrative examples from online teaching; and reports on the effectiveness of Fink's time-tested model. Fink also explores recent changes in higher education nationally and internationally and offers more proven strategies for dealing with student resistance to innovative teaching.

Tapping into the knowledge, tools, and strategies in Creating Significant Learning Experiences empowers educators to creatively design courses that will result in significant learning for their students.

"As thought-provoking and inspiring today as it was when it was first published, it is a 'must' for anyone serious about creating courses that challenge students to learn deeply." —Elizabeth F. Barkley, author, Student Engagement Techniques


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

Engaging Ideas

John C. Bean

Learn to design interest-provoking writing and critical thinking activities and incorporate them into your courses in a way that encourages inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate, with Engaging Ideas, a practical nuts-and-bolts guide for teachers from any discipline. Integrating critical thinking with writing-across-the-curriculum approaches, the book shows how teachers from any discipline can incorporate these activities into their courses. This edition features new material dealing with genre and discourse community theory, quantitative/scientific literacy, blended and online learning, and other current issues.


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

If I understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face

Alan Alda

Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? is the warm, witty, and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. His search began when he was host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, where he interviewed thousands of scientists and developed a knack for helping them communicate complex ideas in ways a wide audience could understand—and Alda wondered if those techniques held a clue to better communication for the rest of us.

In his wry and wise voice, Alda reflects on moments of miscommunication in his own life, when an absence of understanding resulted in problems both big and small. He guides us through his discoveries, showing how communication can be improved through learning to relate to the other person: listening with our eyes, looking for clues in another’s face, using the power of a compelling story, avoiding jargon, and reading another person so well that you become “in sync” with them, and know what they are thinking and feeling—especially when you’re talking about the hard stuff.

Drawing on improvisation training, theater, and storytelling techniques from a life of acting, and with insights from recent scientific studies, Alda describes ways we can build empathy, nurture our innate mind-reading abilities, and improve the way we relate and talk with others. Exploring empathy-boosting games and exercises, If I Understood You is a funny, thought-provoking guide that can be used by all of us, in every aspect of our lives—with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.

In Defense of a Liberal Education

Fareed Zakaria

The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, "I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree." These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline.

"I get it," writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted.

Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education―how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders' vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning―precisely the gifts of a liberal education.

Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history.


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

Mindset

Carol S. Dweck

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

In this edition, Dweck offers new insights into her now famous and broadly embraced concept. She introduces a phenomenon she calls false growth mindset and guides people toward adopting a deeper, truer growth mindset. She also expands the mindset concept beyond the individual, applying it to the cultures of groups and organizations. With the right mindset, you can motivate those you lead, teach, and love—to transform their lives and your own.

Student Engagement Techniques

Elizabeth F. Barkley

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 and includes over one hundred tips, strategies, and techniques that have been proven to help teachers from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions motivate and connect with their 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.

"Given the current and welcome surge of interest in improving student learning and success, this guide is a timely and important tool, sharply focused on practical strategies that can really matter."

-Kay McClenney, director, Center for Community College Student Engagement, Community College Leadership Program, the University of Texas at Austin

"This book is a 'must' for every new faculty orientation program; it not only emphasizes the importance of concentrating on what students learn but provides clear steps to prepare and execute an engagement technique. Faculty looking for ideas to heighten student engagement in their courses will find usefultechniques that can be adopted, adapted, extended, or modified."

-Bob Smallwood, cocreator of CLASSE (Classroom Survey of Student Engagement) and assistant to the provost for assessment, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, University of Alabama

"Elizabeth Barkley's encyclopedia of active learning techniques (here called SETs) combines both a solid discussion of the research on learning that supports the concept of engagement and real-life examples of these approaches to teaching in action."

-James Rhem, executive editor, The National Teaching & Learning Forum


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

Teaching What You Don't Know

Therese Huston

Your graduate work was on bacterial evolution, but now you're lecturing to 200 freshmen on primate social life. You've taught Kant for twenty years, but now you're team-teaching a new course on “Ethics and the Internet.” The personality theorist retired and wasn't replaced, so now you, the neuroscientist, have to teach the "Sexual Identity" course. Everyone in academia knows it and no one likes to admit it: faculty often have to teach courses in areas they don't know very well. The challenges are even greater when students don't share your cultural background, lifestyle, or assumptions about how to behave in a classroom.

In this practical and funny book, an experienced teaching consultant offers many creative strategies for dealing with typical problems. How can you prepare most efficiently for a new course in a new area? How do you look credible? And what do you do when you don't have a clue how to answer a question?

Encouraging faculty to think of themselves as learners rather than as experts, Therese Huston points out that authority in the classroom doesn't come only, or even mostly, from perfect knowledge. She offers tips for introducing new topics in a lively style, for gauging students' understanding, for reaching unresponsive students, for maintaining discussions when they seem to stop dead, and -yes- for dealing with those impossible questions.

Original, useful, and hopeful, this book reminds you that teaching what you don't know, to students whom you may not understand, is not just a job. It's an adventure.


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

We're Losing Our Minds

Richard P Keeling & Richard H. Hersh

America is being held back by the quality and quantity of learning in college. Many graduates cannot think critically, write effectively, solve problems, understand complex issues, or meet employers' expectations. The only solution - making learning the highest priority in college - demands fundamental change throughout higher education.


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.

What the Best College Teachers Do

Ken Bain

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. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, 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.

In stories both humorous and touching, Bain describes examples of ingenuity and compassion, of students' discoveries of new ideas and the depth of their own potential. What the Best College Teachers Do is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration for first-year teachers and seasoned educators.


Copies available for purchase in the T+LC for $10.