What’s On Your Residential Education and Curriculum Summer Reading List?

In a recent post to the Residential Curriculum Facebook page, a number of folks started sharing what’s on their reading list related to residential student learning, education, and curriculum. Since summer time is typically a great occasion to catch up on reading and other work, we curated this list of “summer readings” from their suggestions. In case you missed it…

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning

“Research into how we learn has opened the door for utilizing cognitive theory to facilitate better student learning. But that’s easier said than done. Many books about cognitive theory introduce radical but impractical theories, failing to make the connection to the classroom. In Small Teaching, James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of modest but powerful changes that make a big difference—many of which can be put into practice in a single class period. These strategies are designed to bridge the chasm between primary research and the classroom environment in a way that can be implemented by any faculty in any discipline, and even integrated into pre-existing teaching techniques.

Each chapter introduces a basic concept in cognitive theory, explains when and how it should be employed, and provides firm examples of how the intervention has been or could be used in a variety of disciplines. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students.” (Source: Amazon)

Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems

Suggested by: Jason Johnson

“Systems thinking can help us solve everyday and wicked problems, increase our personal effectiveness as human beings, and transform our organizations. This book is for anyone interested in learning the foundational ideas of systems thinking. After years of searching for unifying principles, many experts and practitioners in the field of systems thinking have embraced DSRP as universal to all systems thinking methods. Originally a complex mathematical formulation, DSRP has since been made more accessible through powerful modeling and visualization tools. There are two surprising things about our new understanding of systems thinking.” (Source: Amazon)

Learning Is Not a Sprint Assessing and Documenting Student Leader Learning in Cocurricular Involvement

Suggested by: Bonnie Boyle McGahee

“Student affairs professionals are increasingly being asked to provide evidence that students are learning and growing through their experiences on campus. Stakeholders such as accrediting agencies, legislators, families, employers, faculty, and students all have opinions about what individuals should be learning in college. Students learn in all contexts, from resolving roommate conflicts, to managing a complex student organization budget, to making a persuasive speech in front of the student government. The task of assessing and documenting student learning outside the traditional classroom presents a unique set of challenges: there are no grades given at the end of an experience, the skills developed may not fit into one academic area, and there are no national standards or summative curriculum.

Learning is Not a Sprint: Assessing and Documenting Student Leader Learning in Cocurricular Involvement offers multiple perspectives and a framework to establish and document student learning in the cocurricular environment, with a specific focus on student leaders and student employees. It provides student affairs professionals with a theory base on student learning and student leadership, but also addresses the realities of the current state of higher education.” (Source: NASPA)

Learning Everywhere on Campus: Teaching Strategies for Student Affairs Professionals

Suggested by: Hilary Lichterman

“Although student affairs practitioners play a key role in student learning, few are familiar with learning theories, the design of experiential education, or pedagogical theory. This edited collection describes programs in which student affairs professionals work independently or in collaboration with academic faculty and community partners to create more intentional and consistent approaches that enhance student learning. Examples, models, and case studies throughout the chapters make the theories and ideas specific and practical. Exploring educational opportunities in and outside the classroom, such as peer education, leadership development, life and career planning, civic engagement, service-learning, and study abroad, this book provides both theories and pedagogical frameworks for organizing and integrating the entire institution to promote and support learning. Drawing on multiple perspectives, Learning Everywhere on Campus shares the interventions and strategies necessary to help students learn new information, acquire skills, and understand the value of this knowledge in constructing their sense of purpose and self in the world.” (Source: Amazon)

Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate Into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation

Suggested by: Eric Pernotto

“What is preventing your students from performing according to expectations? Saundra McGuire offers a simple but profound answer: If you teach students how to learn and give them simple, straightforward strategies to use, they can significantly increase their learning and performance.

The methods she proposes do not require restructuring courses or an inordinate amount of time to teach. They can often be accomplished in a single session, transforming students from memorizers and regurgitators to students who begin to think critically and take responsibility for their own learning.

Saundra McGuire takes the reader sequentially through the ideas and strategies that students need to understand and implement. First, she demonstrates how introducing students to metacognition and Bloom’s Taxonomy reveals to them the importance of understanding how they learn and provides the lens through which they can view learning activities and measure their intellectual growth. Next, she presents a specific study system that can quickly empower students to maximize their learning. Then, she addresses the importance of dealing with emotion, attitudes, and motivation by suggesting ways to change students’ mindsets about ability and by providing a range of strategies to boost motivation and learning; finally, she offers guidance to faculty on partnering with campus learning centers.” (Source: Stylus)

College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success for All Students

Suggested by: Natalie Sasseville Allan

“Belonging – with peers, in the classroom, or on campus – is a crucial part of the college experience. It can affect a student’s degree of academic achievement, or even whether they stay in school. Although much is known about the causes and impact of sense of belonging in students, little is known about how belonging differs based on students’ social identities, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation, or the conditions they encounter on campus.

College Students’ Sense of Belonging addresses these student sub-populations and campus environments. It offers readers practical guidelines, underpinned by theory and research, for helping students belong and thrive. Sense of belonging can come from peers, teachers or faculty, family members, social and academic groups, and living and learning environments. The book offers:

  • a review and critique of current literature on sense of belonging in light of new and emerging theory
  • a new conceptual model of belonging which helps the reader expand an understanding of sense of belonging
  • new and recent research findings from quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies conducted by the author
  • practical recommendations for improving educational environments, practices, policies, and programs to facilitate students’ sense of belonging on campus.” (Source: Amazon)

Student Engagement in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations

Suggested by: Erin Simpson

“Student Engagement in Higher Education fills a longstanding void in the higher education and student affairs literature. In the fully revised and updated edition of this important volume, the editors and chapter contributors explore how diverse populations of students experience college differently and encounter group-specific barriers to success. Informed by relevant theories, each chapter focuses on engaging a different student population, including: low-income students, students of color, international students, students with disabilities, LGBT students, religious minority students, student-athletes, homeless students, transfer students, commuter and part-time students, adult learners, student veterans, and graduate students. The forward-thinking, practical strategies offered throughout the book are based on research and the collected professional wisdom of experienced educators and scholars at two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. Current and future faculty, administrators, and student affairs staff will undoubtedly find this book complete with fresh ideas to reverse troubling engagement trends among various college student populations.” (Source: Amazon)

What would you add to this list?

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