OTL Virtual Book Club

2022 Office of Teaching and Learning Book Club

Book Selection: Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (2013, Marie Battiste)

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As instructors begin a path towards Indigenizing and decolonizing their teaching, it can be tempting to seek out a list of teaching strategies that can be quickly and easily put into place in one’s classroom. However, as Sandra Styres (2019) describes in Pathways for Remembering and (Re)cognizing Indigenous Thought in Education: “indigenizing education is not a toolbox, a list of best practices, or a checklist of items that can be crossed off – it is an active process of engagement, activism, patience, and unwavering persistence” (p. 45).

As part of the active process of engagement, from March 2022 to July 2022, the Office of Teaching and Learning is inviting faculty and instructional staff to join us on this journey through a small, virtual book club where we will collectively read and discuss the book Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (Battiste, 2013). The Book Club is open to current University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals) who are interested in actively engaging in learning about decolonizing and Indigenizing teaching and critically examining their own perspectives about colonized education systems.

The purpose of the book club is to discuss the concepts in Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit and share resources and ideas related to Indigenizing and decolonizing our teaching practices. Educational developers from the Office of Teaching and Learning will provide the ‘virtual’ space to hold the discussion for participants and facilitators will be learning together. Book club registration is limited to allow for effective discussions. Discussions will not be recorded.

This book club will be different from our previous book clubs. The first session on March 2nd is mandatory and is intended to establish our community, build relationships, and discuss our shared responsibility in this space. Upon registering you will receive initial readings that we will be discussing in the first meeting.

We ask the following of Book Club participants:

  • Commit to reading Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit
  • Commit to attending the scheduled meetings between March 2022 and July 2022 to respectfully learn from and with other book club participants and, in the spirit of reciprocity, share experiences, resources, and ideas.
  • Consider and discuss how the concepts, ideas, and strategies discussed in Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit apply to their own discipline, courses, and teaching experiences.
  • Discuss theoretical and practical ideas for decolonizing education.
  • Take responsibility for specific actions to indigenize education at the University of Guelph.

 

Register for the Book Club

To register for the Book Club, please complete this Qualtrics form. Book Club facilitators will contact you to confirm your registration.


About Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (2013, Marie Battiste)

"Drawing on treaties, international law, the work of other Indigenous scholars, and especially personal experiences, Marie Battiste documents the nature of Eurocentric models of education, and their devastating impacts on Indigenous knowledge. Chronicling the negative consequences of forced assimilation and the failure of current educational policies to bolster the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal populations, Battiste proposes a new model of education. She argues that the preservation of Aboriginal knowledge is an Aboriginal right and a right preserved by the many treaties with First Nations. Current educational policies must undergo substantive reform. Central to this process is the rejection of the racism inherent to colonial systems of education, and the repositioning of Indigenous humanities, sciences, and languages as vital fields of knowledge. Battiste suggests the urgency for this reform lies in the social, technological, and economic challenges facing society today, and the need for a revitalized knowledge system which incorporates both Indigenous and Eurocentric thinking. The new model she advocates is based on her experiences growing up in a Mi’kmaw community, and the decades she has spent as a teacher, activist, and university scholar." Publisher's description

If you are interested in learning a bit more about each chapter before committing, we recommend the following chapter-by-chapter review section in this resource written by Mandy Krahn (University of Alberta). 

Accessing the Book

Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit is available as paperback, epub, and Kindle editions. McLaughlin Library has purchased e-copies of the book that are available to book club members. Hard copies of the book are also available from Chapters Indigo, Amazon, and some independent bookstores.

Book Club Dates and Times: 

Date Time Chapters to Discuss
March 2nd  10:30 am - 12:00 pm Selected readings, community building
March 16th 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Foreword, Chapters 1,2 
April 13th 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Chapter 3
May 18th 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Chapter 4
June 8th 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Chapters 5, 6
June 29th  10:30 am - 12:00 pm Chapters 7,8,9
July 13th 10:30 am - 12:00 pm Chapter 10, reflection sharing 

Fall 2021 Book Club - How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching

During the Fall 2021 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching (Eyler, 2018). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of How Humans Learn and discuss their thoughts or share experiences from their classes.

About How Humans Learn

Even on good days, teaching is a challenging profession. One way to make the job of college instructors easier, however, is to know more about the ways students learn. How Humans Learn aims to do just that by peering behind the curtain and surveying research in fields as diverse as developmental psychology, anthropology, and cognitive neuroscience for insight into the science behind learning.
 
The result is a story that ranges from investigations of the evolutionary record to studies of infants discovering the world for the first time, and from a look into how our brains respond to fear to a reckoning with the importance of gestures and language. Joshua R. Eyler identifies five broad themes running through recent scientific inquiry-curiosity, sociality, emotion, authenticity, and failure-devoting a chapter to each and providing practical takeaways for busy teachers. He also interviews and observes college instructors across the country, placing theoretical insight in dialogue with classroom experience.
 

Summer 2021 Book Club - Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto

During the Summer 2021 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto (Gannon, 2020). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of Radical Hope and discuss their thoughts or share experiences from their classes.
 

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About Radical Hope

From the publisher: Higher education has seen better days. Harsh budget cuts, the precarious nature of employment in college teaching, and political hostility to the entire enterprise of education have made for an increasingly fraught landscape. Radical Hope is an ambitious response to this state of affairs, at once political and practical—the work of an activist, teacher, and public intellectual grappling with some of the most pressing topics at the intersection of higher education and social justice.
 
Kevin Gannon asks that the contemporary university’s manifold problems be approached as opportunities for critical engagement, arguing that, when done effectively, teaching is by definition emancipatory and hopeful. Considering individual pedagogical practice, the students who are the primary audience and beneficiaries of teaching, and the institutions and systems within which teaching occurs, Radical Hope surveys the field, tackling everything from impostor syndrome to cell phones in class to allegations of a campus “free speech crisis.” Throughout, Gannon translates ideals into tangible strategies and practices (including key takeaways at the conclusion of each chapter), with the goal of reclaiming teachers’ essential role in the discourse of higher education.

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Winter 2021 Book Club - The Spark of Learning Book Club

During the Winter 2021 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (Cavanagh, S., 2016). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of The Sparking of Learning and discuss your thoughts, questions or share experiences from their own classes.
 

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About The Spark of Learning

Historically we have constructed our classrooms with the assumption that learning is a dry, staid affair best conducted in quiet tones and ruled by an unemotional consideration of the facts. The field of education, however, is beginning to awaken to the potential power of emotions to fuel learning, informed by contributions from psychology and neuroscience. In friendly, readable prose, Sarah Rose Cavanagh argues that if you as an educator want to capture your students' attention, harness their working memory, bolster their long-term retention, and enhance their motivation, you should consider the emotional impact of your teaching style and course design. To make this argument, she brings to bear a wide range of evidence from the study of education, psychology, and neuroscience, and she provides practical examples of successful classroom activities from a variety of disciplines in secondary and higher education.
 

 

Fall 2020 Book Club – Small Teaching Online

During the Fall 2020 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (Darby & Lang, 2019). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of two chapters of Small Teaching Online and discuss approaches they might consider or share experiences from their own classes.

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About Small Teaching Online

Small Teaching Online offers concrete strategies that instructors can implement in their classrooms to improve student learning. The authors ground their suggestions in the learning sciences literature. The concept of “small teaching” encourages instructors to make small but effective changes to their courses that can improve the student experience.

 

Contact Us

 

E-mail the Office of Teaching and Learning (otl@uoguelph.ca) with any questions related to your teaching and learning needs.