Pedagogy Learning Science (PALS) Book Club

I started this book club in 2020 fall semester when I joined my current institution, hoping I could get to know people who are also passionate about teaching. We have read 7 books so far:

  1. How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
  2. Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes
  3. Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education: Equity and Social Justice in Education
  4. Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education
  5. Design for How People Learn
  6. Culturally responsive teaching and the brain: Promoting authentic engagement and rigor among culturally and linguistically diverse students
  7. Distracted

This semester we will be reading Grading for Growth: A Guide to Alternative Grading Practices that Promote Authentic Learning and Student Engagement in Higher Education. These book club discussions offered me the rare chance of listening to colleagues from other departments and disciplines about how they teach. I love these informal meetings, not only because we get to learn new ideas from these books, but also because we get to support each other when there isn’t any structural and institutional level support available. Sometimes we’d shift our discussions from a chapter in a book to a problem that we face in our class. Often other people in the book club would have already encountered such problems and they were able to share valuable insights to how to solve them. I’m excited to start this book: I have tried mastery-based grading in one of my courses and I’m aware it needs fine tuning. I’m hoping this book, together with all the discussions we’ll have, can give me some ideas of how to do it next time.

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