On my summer reading list

It’s finals week at my institution so I’ve started to compile my annual book list of professional literature that I’m hoping to tackle during summer break. I’m open to other suggestions so if you’ve read something interesting recently be sure to share it in the comments section below. I’ve ordered the books chronologically in the order I plan to read them.

  1. Small teaching: Everyday lessons from the science of learning: In this book, James Lang discusses practical ways to incorporate cognitive science into collegiate classrooms. I recently re-read Lang’s book Cheating Lessons as part of a faculty learning community. I’m certain that Lang’s new book will continue to expand the way I approach my teaching roles on campus.
  2. Discussion in the college classroom: This book, written by Jay R. Howard, explores ways to increase the academic discourse that occurs in our classrooms.  Discussions are one of the most widely used instructional strategies on campus and I’m hoping the book will help me facilitate more engaging discussions in my online and face-to-face classrooms.
  3. The work of play:  I recently re-read James Paul Gee’s book What video games can teach us about literacy and learning.  I continue to be amazed at the level of involvement that games can foster with some of the most disengaged students. This book, written Aaron Chia Yuan Hung, examines how video games represent new literacies and captures digital epistemologies. While I’m sure it’s going to be a dense read, I always enjoy books that make my head hurt.
  4. How we learn: The surprising truth about when, where and why it happens: While I like to think I’m up on educational research, I always to like to read new texts that can broaden my perspective. Written by award-winning New York Times science reporter Benedict Carey, this book seeks to challenge long-held beliefs about learning and attention.
  5. Girls & sex: Navigating the complicated new landscape: Besides being a college instructor and a campus professional developer, I’m a father of a teenage girl. Last summer, I read It’s Complicated by Danah Boyd which explored how teenagers use social networks and other digital communication tools. Girls & sex, written by Peggy Orenstein, examines how teenage girls are negotiating a complex sexual terrain that is influenced by mixed signals sent by popular culture and social media.
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