The semester is winding down and I’m starting to look ahead to a few months with a little more flexible reading schedule. This is the time of year where I usually start collecting books that I’m planning to read to help me re-energize and refocus. Here’s a list of some of the books I plan to use this summer as catalysts for this journey. If you’re interested what I’ve read in past summers, definitely check out the links at the bottom of this post.
1. Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (Tobin and Behling, 2018).
In full disclosure, this book was co-written by a friend of mine. It’s been on my reading list for a few months and I’m hoping to do some programming on campus with the book next fall. The book focuses on how we can incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in collegiate classrooms. I’ve written about UDL before but I’m always looking for ways to reach more students through thoughtful and purposeful instructional decisions.
2. Academic Motherhood: How Faculty Manage Work and Family (Ward & Wolf-Mendel, 2012)
I work in academics but I am definitely not a mother. In my role on campus, however, I work with a lot of colleagues who are. This book has been recommended to me a bunch of times by some really wise people who feel that it can help to inform the work I do with mentoring new faculty on campus.
3. Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (Weimer, 2013)
There are a handful of books that I’ve read and re-read over the course of my life. I’ve read Leaves of Grass probably a dozen times. I’ve read Lave and Wenger’s book Situated Learning probably six or seven times. This will probably be the third or fourth time I’ll be reading Learner-Centered Teaching and I get something different from it every time. Like some of the other books on this list, I’m planning to use the book as part of a campus learning community this fall.
4. The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science (Storr, 2014)
This book was a gift from a colleague who hand selected it for me to read. The book examines different situations where people ignore facts and dig their heels into a false narrative. While it’s not directly tied to my role as a teacher or as a faculty developer, I feel like it may help to inform my work with people who deny the evidence behind active learning.
5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F&ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (Manson, 2016)
This was another gift. When I posted a picture of the book on social media a few months ago, so many smart and funny people commented that they loved the book. I’m looking forward to learning about how “improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning how to stomach lemons.” This should be an entertaining, albeit profanity-filled, read.