Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Report

I have spent the past month catching up on everything that I didn't get done during the school year. Scrubbing tiles, cleaning the pantry, harassing the kids, fixing screens, sorting through paperwork, sewing, and reading. Lots and lots of reading.

Most of the books I have been reading I started somewhere in the midst of the school year. A few of them were textbooks that I was reviewing for my classes and classes I am proposing.  I reviewed the Textile Kit Eco Edition for a proposed Textile Science class. I love it! I enjoyed putting together the swatches and I learned a lot from their online textbook. It was a good refresher for me and will be perfect if my proposed course is approved. Basic Sewing for Costume Construction I looked at as a potential textbook for my costume class. It will be an OK resource in the classroom but not right for my class as a textbook. The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy has been a very interesting book.  I am learning a lot from it and am not done yet.  It too is a book for a proposed class, not one I'm teaching yet. And then another book I haven't finished yet is Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes, also for a proposed course.

Just for fun I read through a few chapters of Heath's anthropology textbook; the chapters on fashion and the body. Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, an interesting read and I may require my students to borrow the text from their friends in Intro to Anthro to read sections of this.

I also like to steal Dave's textbooks from his Doctoral studies.  The other day I finished The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable and next up is Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull.  I'm really excited about that one. I listened to a podcast interview of him a few months ago and he was fascinating.

The book I think I've gotten the most from this summer however, is What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain. As you can see from the picture above I have marked it up extensively with post its. Here's a list of a few things I want to remember from this book:

  • Does my class change the way students think about the subject?
  • "Knowledge is constructed, not received"
  • "Those who work from intrinsic motivations will pick more ambitious tasks."
  • "Activities most likely to help them learn---struggling, grappling, and making mistakes."
  • "Characteristics of highly respected courses include high demands but with plentiful opportunities to revise and improve their work before it receives a grade, thereby learning from their mistakes in the process."
  • "Avoid the language of demands and use the vocabulary of promises instead."
  • "Know the value that intellectual challenges--even inducing puzzlement and confusion--can play in stimulating interest in the questions of [the course]"
  • "The only way you will ever learn is to read and think." --Ralph Lynn
  • "If students can't learn to judge the quality of their own work, then they haven't really learned." --Paul Travis
  • Teaching is a conversation not a performance.
  • "In real science you're not too worried about the right answer . . .what you are after waits patiently for you while you screw up."--Dudley Herschbach
  • Does my teaching change the way I think about the subject?

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