Posted by: Gregory Linton | 01/28/2009

Resources for Faculty Learning Communities

In this post, I want to provide some specific examples of resources that we have used in our FLCs here at Johnson Bible College. I will list each resources and offer a brief description of it.

Fall 2007

Zull, J. E. (2002). The art of changing the brain: Enhancing the practice of teaching by exploring the biology of learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Zull is Professor of Biology and Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education at Case Western Reserve University. This book describes what college teachers can learn from neuroscience about effective teaching methods. Zull describes in an accessible way the various parts of the brain and how they are involved in the learning process. He drives home the obvious but often overlooked point that learning actually changes the physical structure of the brain. Understanding the effect of learning on the brain suggests principles for teaching such as active learning, motivation, and emotional engagement.

Spring 2008

Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Howard Gardner, Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is renowned for his influential theory about multiple intelligences. In the past decade, he has embarked on a study of “GoodWork,” work that is excellent in quality, socially responsible, and personally meaningful. He has also worked with Harvard Project Zero to apply good work insights in secondary schools and colleges, investigate conceptions of trust and trustworthiness in young people, and study ethical issues associated with the new digitial media.

This book represents a sort of manifesto that lays out the five most important cognitive abilities, or ways of thinking, that will become increasingly important in the future. These are abilities that companies and corporations will look for in their employees, and they are abilities that schools and colleges should be developing in their students.  These abilities are the disciplined mind, the synthesizing mind, the creating mind, the respectful mind, and the ethical mind. Gardner does not draw out many of the implications of his manifesto for education, but educators will find many insights that may influence both curriculum and course design.

Fall 2008

Freitas, D. (2008). Sex & the soul: Juggling sexuality, spirituality, romance, and religion on America’s college campuses. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

This book is aimed toward church-related IHEs. Freitas, Assistant Professor of Religion at Boston University, reports the results of research that she conducted on seven campuses, using interviews with 111 students. She reports on attitudes about the connection between religion and sexual behavior among college students. She discovered that at some religious institutions the sexual behavior of students was indistinguishable from students at secular institutuions. Only at evangelical colleges did she discover among students a tighter and more reflective connection between their faith and their sexual behavior, but many of those students also did not behave consistently with their beliefs. This book is not directly related to activities in the classroom but touches on the broader issues of student development.

Weimer, M. (2002). Learner-centered teaching: Five key changes to practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Weimer is associate professor of teaching and learning at Berks-Lehigh Valley College of the Pennsylvania State University and editor-in-chief of The Teacher Professor newsletter. In this book, she challenges the traditional paradigm of college teaching, which is authoritarian, paternalistic, lecture-oriented, and teacher-centered. She encourages teachers to experiment with giving up some control, empowering students to take charge of their learning, and engaging students actively in the learning process. The book offers specific ideas that can be adapted to one’s own setting.

Spring 2009

This semester we have two different books being used by our FLCs. I will not give a summary of them since we have not completed our study, but I will list them here.

Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., and Whitt, E. J. (2005). Student success: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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