Reading Circles

Reading Circles LogoWe will be offering Reading Circles in Fall 2014 again.
We will periodically be sending out a call for participants in reading circles; if you would like to be put on a mailing list for OFD Reading Circles, please send an email to Erin Robinson.

The Office of Faculty Development (OFD) invites faculty to participate in our 11th offering of the Reading Circle program this Fall semester.

We are pleased to offer two compelling texts, Teaching Unprepared Students and Making Thinking Visible.

unprepared studentsTeaching Unprepared Students by Kathleen Gabriel (2008): If you are new to reading circles or short on time this semester, this might be the text for you, as it is only 160 pages.  There is an interesting interview with the author here, and a description from the publisher here.

making thinking visibleMaking Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners by Ron Ritchart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison (2011).  This text focuses on the ideas researched by Harvard’s Project Zero, and connects classroom practice regarding “cultures of thinking” to better student outcomes across the board.  An in-depth review can be found here.

Registration Link

We launched this initiative in the Spring of 2009 with the book, “What the Best College Teachers Do” by Ken Bain. This is what some of our participants said the benefits of participating were:

  • “Having time to reflect on teaching. Too often I just fly from class to class without being able to pause. Reading the book and talking to others about it builds those pauses and moments to reflect into my schedule.”
  • “Being able to discuss improving teaching …with other people who are interested in talking about this. [Gaining] A better understanding of how much similarity there is in teaching courses in widely different areas “

Bulletin Article on Reading Circles

What are Reading Circles?

Reading circles are small self-regulated groups of faculty who meet several times to discuss a common book. Each group is composed of participants from several different disciplines and at varied stages of their careers. The reading circles are designed to provide colleagues with an opportunity to share ideas about teaching and learning in an informal setting with peers from across the university.

How do Reading Circles work?

The OFD purchases the book, facilitates the formation of small reading groups, and arranges initial meetings. When participants register, they tell us when they are available and they are assigned to a 6-8 person reading group on the basis of their availability. During the first meeting, each group will decide its own meeting frequency and schedule. Reading circles typically meet 4-8 times during the semester. Participating reading circle teams are invited to use the OFD rooms in Clark Hall for meetings or may choose to volunteer potential meeting sites elsewhere.