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Book on Higher Education to Be Put Under Scrutiny by Faculty, CTE

The fourth edition of the Faculty Book Club will explore current challenges in higher education: What should colleges aim to achieve and what skills will graduates need to succeed in the 21st century.

The Center for Teaching Excellence at Loyola Marymount University welcomes the new academic year with an invitation to all faculty to join in the discussion. New full-time faculty members get an added enticement: a gratis copy of the book under consideration, “Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More,” by Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University.

The book chosen for the 2009 club “encourages us to think deeply about our curricula, both in majors and in the core,” said Jackie Dewar, director of the center. The examination of Bok’s concepts takes place as LMU’s faculty and administration are in the process of revising the university’s core curriculum. Many of the topics that Bok addresses – critical thinking as a foundational skill, the goals of a core curriculum, how to develop moral reasoning and citizenship – are part the university’s exchange of ideas.

“We’re providing the forum for a good conversation with colleagues about that most vital work we do – teaching and learning,” said Dewar, who initiated the Faculty Book Club in 2005 when she became director of CTE.  “The LMU faculty highly value opportunities like this for interaction with colleagues.”

The club will meet on selected Mondays and Tuesdays in September, October and November in the Center for Teaching Excellence, University Hall 3030. For schedule details and more information about participating in the Faculty Book Club, go to www.lmu.edu/cte.

Posted Sept. 14, 2009