Summer 2019 Reading Groups

The registration deadline for individuals has passed.
If you have a group that would like to read a book, please email

The Kaneb Center purchases books on teaching and learning in higher education for small informal reading groups. This service is available to faculty, graduate student teaching assistants, and postdoctoral scholars. To participate:

Individuals who would like to be matched with a group:

  1. Choose a book (or two) from the list.

  2. Sign Up with our Google Form by Monday, May 20 at 9 AM.
    (we will do our best to accommodate signups after that date) 

Facilitators of groups that are already formed and have confirmed availability for meeting times:

  1. Choose a book from the list or if you want to propose another title contact for approval prior to step 2.

  2. Sign up for the GROUP (only the facilitator signs up) and provide the participating group members' ND email addresses.

The Kaneb Center will purchase and distribute the books. 

  1. Read and Discuss: the facilitator contacts the group to determine reading goals and arrange meetings. Groups may meet several times with specific reading goals or once, upon completion of the book. All members of a group are expected to attend and participate in discussions.
  2. Submit: upon completion, the facilitator provides a short summary (1 page or less) of the group's impressions of the book.


How Humans Learn book cover

How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching
Josh Eyler; West Virginia University Press; 2018. 312 pages.

This book peers behind the curtain and surveys research in developmental psychology, anthropology, and cognitive neuroscience for insight into the science behind learning. The topics range from investigations of infants discovering the world to how our brains respond to fear. After interviewing and observing instructors across the country, Eyler identified five broad themes: curiosity, sociality, emotion, authenticity, and failure. For each theme, he provides theoretical insights and practical takeaways.

Team Teaching book coverTeam Teaching: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy
Kathryn Plank; Stylus Publishing; 2011. 148 pages.

Thinking about developing an integration course? This book offers an overview of the pedagogy, challenges, and rewards of team teaching. The intellectual and pedagogical interaction of two teachers reflects the way scholars make meaning of the world. Team teaching moves us from a teacher-centered classroom to a community in which teachers and students work together, and students begin to understand how knowledge is constructed. Plank shares the stories of five courses in different disciplines, at different institutions, illustrating a number of different models.

Teaching What You Don't Know book coverTeaching What You Don’t Know
Therese Huston; Harvard University Press; 2012. 320 pages.

Everyone knows that 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 background. This book offers creative strategies for dealing with typical problems. How can you prepare efficiently? How do you look credible? Encouraging faculty to think of themselves as learners, Huston offers tips for introducing topics, gauging understanding, reaching unresponsive students, maintaining discussions, and dealing with impossible questions.

Presentation Zen book coverFarewell recommendation from Chris Clark

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, 2nd Edition
Garr Reynolds; Harvard University Press; 2014. 312 pages.

This book explains how to reach an audience through simplicity and storytelling, and gives us the tools to confidently design and deliver a successful presentation. Reynolds shows how to take a dry presentation and reinvigorate the material in fresh ways that make it memorable and resonate with the audience. The book combines solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen to help readers along the path to simpler, more effective presentations.

White Fragility book coverIn conjunction with the Provost's Diversity Initiatives

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Robin DiAngelo; Beacon Press; 2018. 192 pages.

Note: the author will be speaking on campus on September 6, 2019

DiAngelo explores the counterproductive reactions exhibited by some white people when widely held assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions contribute to racial inequality. This book examines how these patterns develop and what we can do to engage others more constructively.