The Center for Teaching Excellence coordinates book clubs throughout the semester on topics of interest to faculty members. The CTE invites you to enjoy thoughtful conversation with your peers at these gatherings.

Books are free to participants. Book groups usually meet a few times over the semester at the Center for Teaching Excellence, 73 Tremont Street, 12th floor, unless otherwise noted.

If you are interested in joining a book group contact Christina DiRico at the CTE st 617-573-8222, , or Register Online.

Fall 2011 Book Group Choices

Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference, by Mark Edmundson
Facilitated by Rich Miller, Associate Professor, English

This memoir paints a vivid picture of the author as a senior at Medford High School, and the important changes he experienced in one particular teacher’s class. Filled with allusions to the classics, ’60s counter-culture, athletics, and social class, this book is a testament to the power of teaching. The Summer 2011 Freshman Reading Program selection, it will be featured in various College events this fall.

Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World by Sharon Parks
Facilitated by Brendan Burke, Assistant Professor, Public Management

If leaders are made, not born, what is the best way to teach the skills they need to be effective? This unique book invites readers to step into the classroom of Harvard leadership virtuoso Ronald Heifetz to explore “case in point” learning. You’ll learn how to use your own experiences to create a more dynamic classroom. This discussion will help reveal how we can learn, practice, and teach the art of leadership in more skilled, effective, and inspired forms.  

Teaching What You Don’t Know by Therese Huston
Facilitated by Susan Alessandri, Assistant Professor, Communication and Journalism

Your graduate work was on bacterial evolution, but now you're lecturing to 200 freshmen on primate social life. Or maybe you’ve taught Kant for twenty years, but now you're team-teaching Ethics and the Internet. Everyone in academia knows it and no one likes to admit it: faculty must often teach courses on topics they don’t know very well. In this practical and funny book, an experienced teaching consultant offers many creative strategies for dealing with typical problems. She provides tips for introducing new topics in a lively style, gauging students’ understanding, reaching unresponsive students, and dealing with impossible questions. 


Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa
Facilitated by Rachael Kipp, Associate Professor, Chemistry

This thought-provoking book has some bad news for anyone invested in higher education. The authors used the standardized Collegiate Learning Assessment tool to document students’ learning in their first semester and again at the end of their second year. According to their analysis of more than 2,300 undergraduates at 24 institutions, 45 percent of these students demonstrated no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college.