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Common Summer Reading to Help First-Year Students and Faculty Learn about Learning

February 12, 2019

Category: Academics, Events, Faculty, Students

co-reading19.pngThis year’s incoming class at Catawba College will be learning about learning. And it’s not just for the students. 

As part of the college’s Common Summer Reading initiative, both students and faculty will focus their attention on learning through two books designed for each group as well as a nationally-recognized guest speaker about the impact of understanding how one learns. 

Both faculty and students will be using books written by Saundra McGuire: “Teach Students How to Learn” will be the faculty-focused book, while students will be reading “Teach Yourself How to Learn.” Following these readings and various discussion groups on campus, both faculty and students will have workshops, led by Dr. Christiane Price of Dalton State College in Georgia, who is one of the nation’s leading experts on student learning and teaching. 

“Catawba’s two-pronged approach is much more inclusive and impressive when it comes to instilling the importance of understanding, and the processes behind, learning,” said Dr. Price, who will be conducting a workshop for the faculty on student learning, and then a second workshop for all first-year students on engaging themselves as modern learners. 

A professor in both the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Health Professions, as well as the founding Director of the Center for Academic Excellence at Dalton State College, Dr. Price has been teaching at the collegiate level for 25 years. A professor of psychology, she is a nationally recognized authority on innovative teaching techniques to engage millennial learners and, among numerous awards, was chosen by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the Outstanding U.S. Professor for 2012 in the Baccalaureate Colleges category. 

Catawba’s Common Summer Reading initiative is jointly sponsored by the First-Year Seminar Program, directed by Dr. Sheila Brownlow, professor of psychology; the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, directed by Dr. Michael Bitzer, chair and professor of politics; and the Provost’s Office at Catawba. 

“This year’s selection of “Teach Yourself How to Learn” complements perfectly our Common College Reading Initiative, which has always been focused on getting students ready to talk about important issues as soon as they arrive on campus.  The initiative has afforded students the opportunities to contribute to the intellectual life of the College, but with this reading, students will be able to more actively participate in the conservations about ideas that matter to them as learners, ultimately shaping their abilities as students and members of the larger community,” said Dr. Brownlow. 

“By starting with the Common Summer Reading initiative, Catawba’s year-long initiative on student learning will bring together both students and faculty to understand what we know about learning, and how we can help our students and faculty enhance their educational experiences to achieve Catawba’s mission of providing an education rich in personal attention,” said Dr. Bitzer.

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