Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Book Circles - Summer 2024

Book CirclesThe CTLT hosts book circles every academic quarter and during summers. They are open to all Cal Poly educators. Selected books draw from a broad array of thoughtful and inspiring educational literature. These are opportunities to enrich your knowledge about timely and significant topics related to higher education while engaging with colleagues from across campus. Participants receive a complimentary copy of the selected book with the expectation that they will engage in three or more discussion sessions. Themes for book circle selections include: Mindful Educators, Mastery Teaching, Inclusive Educators, Navigating Academia, Sustainability Educators, and Writing Educators. 

NOTE: Our cumulative Book Circles list of titles is available on the CTLT's Book Circle archival webpage.

Cultures of Growth: How The New Science of Mindset Can Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations

Mary Murphy, PhD

 Resilient book cover

It has been almost 20 years since Dr. Carol Dweck published Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success, 2006. That book provided general readers an accessible overview of her extensive research findings on the growth and fixed mindsets. In this new book (published Spring 2024), Dr. Murphy shares findings from her research on growth mindsets beyond individuals to larger social groups. She describes teams and organizations that reflect a "culture of growth" where everyone's potential to grow and to develop new skills is supported and recognized (i.e., growth mindset). This is in contrast with teams and organizations that reflect a "culture of genius" that embody a fixed mindset at a group level. In these organizations, recognition and praise is for the few "star" employees whose innate talent and natural brilliance lead to high accomplishments. She tracks how these different cultures play out in organizational activities: collaborating, innovating, risk-taking and show up in resilience, integrity, as well as equity and inclusion. Examples from the corporate world, education, sports, non-profits and more will make vivid the ways an organization can evolve toward a culture of growth and see the benefits that research findings have documented. In this circle we will imagine how students' learning experiences might change for the positive if educators committed to establishing a culture of growth in classes to replace classes that reflect a culture of genius.

A "Mindful Educators" selection

  • Dates: Wednesdays, July 17, 24 and 31
  • Time: 9-10 am
  • Location: Onsite (Chase Hall 104) and online (zoom)
  • Facilitator: Patrick O'Sullivan, PhD, and Julie Bettergarcia, PhD

Register for Summer 2024 Book Circles


Teaching With AI: A Practical Guide To A New Era of Human Learning

Jose bowen, Phd, and C. Edward Watson, PhD

 Resilient book coverAI's capabilities and the debates over potential for good and ill continue to evolve. In the meantime, this resource provides educators a rich set of ideas, insights, and recommendations that can be helpful in the short term. While the tools change, evidence-based principles and methods of analysis can have lasting benefits. This brand new book (published in 2024) is organized into three parts: (1) Thinking with AI, (2) Teaching with AI, and (3) Learning with AI. All three are helpful for better understanding in general the consequences for others and ourselves, what it means for our role as educators, and how we can understand possibilities for its use and misuse for our students. As we all try to grasp what this new technology is and what it means for our work as academics and educators, an initial grounding in AI can help us be a degree better informed and so make more thoughtful decisions when faced with the need to respond to the challenges and opportunities that it brings.

A "Mastery Educators" selection

  • Dates: Tuesdays, July 16, 23, 30
  • Time: 9-10 am
  • Location: Onsite (Chase Hall 104) and online (zoom)
  • Facilitator: Patrick O'Sullivan, PhD

Register for Summer 2024 Book Circles

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons From The Science of Learning (2nd Ed.)

James Lang, PhD

 Resilient book cover

Two elements in the book's title touch on key aspects of the book's purpose that are worth noting when considering joining this circle. One is the focus on the "... Science of Learning." In recent years, researchers have been compiling numerous new insights into how the human brain learns. These findings are terrifically valuable for ideas on more powerful teaching techniques, and Lang has identified many of the most relevant research to share in this book. The second element of the title worth noting is the focus on "Small Teaching." Lang's emphasis is on small-scale adjustments that are not difficult or time-consuming to implement but that could yield big benefits for student learning. Lang is a graceful and engaging writer, which means he introduces and contextualizes complex concepts in accessible and enjoyable ways. If you want to learn about new findings in the science of learning to apply to your teaching, this book is for you. You will come away with many compelling ideas that you will be able to put into immediate practice to enhance your teaching effectiveness.

A "Mastery Teaching" selection

  • Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 13, 15, 20, and 22. NOTE: Optional in-person syllabus revision workshop on Friday, August 23.
  • Time: 9:30-10:30 am for book circle sessions; 9:30-11:30 am for onsite workshop
  • Location: Online (zoom) for book circle sessions; Chase 104 for syllabus revision workshop
  • Facilitator: Dianna Winslow, PhD

Register for Summer 2024 Book Circles

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