If you are interested in signing up for a reading circle, please fill out the form to let us know when you’d be free.
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 various 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. OFD launched this initiative in the Spring of 2009 with the book, “What the Best College Teachers Do” by Ken Bain. Below are comments from past participants on the benefits of participating in the Reading Circles program.
“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 “
For a different perspective on Reading Circles, please see the Bulletin article on the program.
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.
What is my commitment if I were to join a Reading Circle group?
In return for receiving the text, participants agree to attend reading circle meetings, contribute to discussions and take their turn leading their reading circle in a form of shared leadership. Participants are also expected to complete an evaluation of the experience. If you have further questions, please contact Erin Robinson. A document outlining the guidelines for reading circles can be found here.
How do I participate in a Reading Circle?
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.
Can I recommend a book for Reading Circles?
Sure, please send an email to Erin Robinson. We will also be soliciting suggestions for future books and topics from each semester’s reading circle participants.