Reading Groups bring faculty from multiple disciplines together to discuss articles, books, or other written resources related to higher education. The materials are selected by either the faculty group or the CFI, as connected to broader trends or initiatives.

Books on Higher Education Reading Groups

This CFI Reading Group will explore current or canonical books on teaching, learning, and academic life. Educators from diverse disciplines and backgrounds will come together to read new research and writing higher education, to discuss emerging trends in higher education, and to find innovative and creative ways to apply insights gained from the readings and in-depth conversations. Up to 10 participants will receive a complimentary copy of the book.

Spring 2022 Reading Group

Read and Dialogue: Linguistic Justice (Online Faculty Community)

This faculty community will meet on Wednesdays, 2/9, 2/23, and 3/9 from 12:45-2:00 PM on Zoom.


Applications due by Fri, 1/28 at 12 PM.

Linguistic justice starts with interrogating how academia invites expression beyond formal, academic English to communicate knowledge. This group will read and discuss April Baker Bell’s 2020 book Linguistic Justice: Black Language, Literacy, Identity, and Pedagogy, which illustrates what Antiracist Black Language Pedagogy looks like in the classroom. Discussions provide an opportunity to deepen understanding of the concepts and plan actions toward linguistic justice at our institution. This book is ideal for those seeking an introduction to the topic as well as those who desire camaraderie in the work. The Learning Centers has copies to loan participants or an e-book can be accessed through JMU Libraries.


Partner: The Learning Centers

Reading Group AY 2021-2022

Read and Dialogue: Teaching and Learning Lit (Online Reading Group)

There is a lot of literature out there related to teaching and learning. We have so many resources and research to support us as educators, but it can be so hard to make time for it all, even in our own disciplines, amidst all of our other responsibilities and interests (as well as, of course, an ongoing pandemic)! This reading group will meet just once, for 75 minutes, to discuss together a short selection from this vast literature.

We will spend our time discussing how relevant the ideas are to our current context, how we might apply them to our own teaching, what questions or critiques we have about the claims and conclusions, and anything else the group wants to explore in the time allotted. This group is intentionally designed to require very little time commitment, given the burnout and exhaustion that we recognize everyone is feeling these days.

Once you register for this program, we will send links and/or PDFs of the pieces for easy access. (The earlier you sign up, the sooner you’ll get the resources!)

Articles discussed so far:

  • February 23, 2022 -  “The Damaging Myth of the Natural Teacher,” from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Reschedule from December 3, 2021.
  • November 8, 2021 - Stephens et al. (2014), “Closing the Social-Class Achievement Gap: A Difference-Education Intervention Improves First-Generation Students’ Academic Performance and All Students’ College Transition” and the NASPA website.
  • October 19, 2021 - Brayboy et al. (2015) “Indigenous Peoples in Higher Education”.
  • October 4, 2021 - Kiewra (2010) “How Classroom Teachers Can Help Students Learn and Teach Them How to Learn”.
  • September 26, 2021 - Chickering and Gamson (1987) “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.” 

Sign up or look for additional reading group dates. 

For more readings and resources about teaching available at JMU, check out the following guide (and feel free to make suggestions!):

Past Reading Groups

Read and Dialogue: Burnout (Sping 2021)

Read and Dialogue: We Want to Do More than Survive (Fall 2020)

Welcoming Blue-Collar Scholars into the Ivory Tower, and The Lives of Campus Custodians(Spring 2020)

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus (Spring 2019)

Welcoming Blue-Collar Scholars into the Ivory Tower andThe Lives of Campus Custodians(Fall 2018)

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum (Spring 2018)

Small Teaching by James Lang (Fall 2017)

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty by James Lang (Fall 2016)

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