2005-2006 Reading/Discussion Clubs
Spring 2006 Book Club
The Ethics of Teaching
(Patricia Keith-Spiegel, et al., 2002, Lawrence Erlbaum, 2nd Edition)
Although college-level educators are trained to be experts in their discipline, it's unlikely that they've had any preparation to confront the common ethical dilemmas that are part and parcel of academic life. Presented as a series of short, engaging case scenarios (often based on actual situations), the book presents the opportunity to consider the subtle complexities inherent in the decision making contexts in which faculty operate. Included are dilemmas involving issues such as confidentiality, politics, and responsibilities to the university. Cases may be supplemented with additional resources found by the facilitator and program participants.
Facilitators: Jon Werner, Professor, Management Department.
Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from Noon to 1:00pm on the following six Mondays: 23 January; 6 & 20 February; 6 & 20 March; and 3 April.
Declining By Degrees
Higher Education at Risk
(Ed. By Richard H. Hersh and John Merrow, 2005, Palgrave/MacMillan)
The sixteen essays in this book, and the companion PBS documentary, offer unique perspectives about the inadequate quality of college and university education. The authors fashion candid and provocative positions on a number of questions, such as: Are students being short-changed by lowered academic standards? Does too much focus on research come at the expense of teaching? Are university administrations more obsessed with rankings than with the quality of student learning? Embedded throughout the book are specific suggestions for how the multi-billion dollar enterprise of higher education can be changed and improved.
Facilitator: Greg Valde, Associate Professor, Educational Foundations, and David Travis, Professor, Geography & Geology Department, Co-Director LEARN Center.
Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 in UC 206 from Noon to 1:00pm on the following six Wednesdays: 25 January; 8 & 22 February; 8 & 22 March; and 5 April.
Fall 2005 Book Club
The Future of Higher Education
Rhetoric, Reality, and the Risks of the Market
(Frank Newman, Lara Couturier, and Jamie Scurry, 2004, Jossey-Bass)
The most recent slate of mandatory budget givebacks across the UW-System serves as a reminder of the economic forces that are transforming higher education. This book explores the challenges of intensified competition among colleges and universities, particularly evident in the expansion of for-profit and virtual institutions. It also discusses opportunities for meeting these challenges, all while expanding student access and improving student learning. Discussion facilitators will focus attention on how all such issues play and, in turn, influence the future of a medium-sized, largely state-funded, comprehensive university "conveniently located between Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago."
Facilitators: Chris Clements, Dean, College of Business and Economics; and Richard Telfer, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from Noon to 1:00pm on the following six Mondays: 12 & 26 September; 10 & 24 October; and 7 and 21 November.
Discussion as a Way of Teaching
Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms
(Stephen D. Brookfield and Stephen Preskill, 1999, Jossey-Bass)
This award-winning book is an excellent how-to guide for planning, initiating, conducting, and evaluating discussions—particularly among some-time reticent populations. It is filled with practical ideas, exercises, strategies, tools, and techniques for eliciting a diversity of views and voices by creating creative groupings and formats, and encouraging student participation. The authors address the tensions that often arise in discussions resulting from ethnic, cultural, class and gender differences, and they review how to balance the voices of students with that of the instructor in ways that preserve the moral, political, and pedagogical integrity of the classroom. Attendees will be encouraged, using the principles of good discussion (of course), to explore how the book's many suggestions and recommendations rub up against their own experiences.
Facilitator: Jon Kozlowicz, Emeritus Professor, Department of Political Science, previous recipient of UW-System Regents Teaching Award.
Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm on the following six Tuesdays: 13 & 27 September; 11 & 25 October; and 8 and 22 November.
The Art of Happiness at Work
(Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler, 2004, Riverhead Trade)
The best-selling book addresses an issue at the center of contemporary vocation-driven lives: How do we turn our work and careers into a meaningful, satisfying part of our lives? Utilizing common sense, ancient teachings, and modern psychiatry, The Art of Happiness at Work offers peace and strength for anyone confronted with the task of bringing home a paycheck. Each chapter addresses a different aspect of the environment (e.g., work and identity, boredom and challenge, and job, career, and calling) and contains discussions of specific scenarios (e.g., getting along with a difficult superior or an irritating colleague) where the Dalai Lama applies Buddhist principles and gives examples from his experiences, and Dr. Cutler clarifies each idea and expands it to fit the North American lifestyle. Discussions will focus on how all these challenges and perspectives apply (or don't apply) in a contemporary academic environment.
Facilitator: Greg Valde, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Foundations, former Roseman Award Winner for Excellence in Teaching.
Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm on the following six Wednesdays: 14 & 28 September; 12 & 26 October; and 9 and 23 November.