Several of the leaders of our teaching workshops and colloquies were asked to recommend just one or two books, articles or websites they would recommend as valuable resources for teachers.
This short list provides a particular path into the vast field of the scholarship on teaching.
Kwok Pui-Lan, Episcopal Divinity School
Rita Brock, Nakashima et al., ed. Developing Teaching Materials and Instructional Strategies for Teaching Asian and Asian American/Canadian Women's Theologies in North America, November 1999.
This report discusses issues facing Asian and Asian North American women as faculties and students, such as challenging the canon of knowledge, different learning and teaching styles, teaching against racism, and classroom dynamics. It is the only resource available on the subject.
John Palfrey and Urs Gasser, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (Basic Books, 2008).
As digital immigrants, many faculties do not quite understand the culture of the generation who have grown up with instant messenger, mobile devices, MP3, and Facebook. Written by Internet and technology experts, this text helps us understand our students and children who live much of their lives online.
Patricia O'Connell Killen, Gonzaga University
Lucretia B. Yaghjian, Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers (Continuum, 2006).
A resource to consult before constructing any writing assignment in a biblical studies, church history or theology course. Yaghjian presents the contours of genres that are almost instinctual to faculty (but not to students) clearly. And she provides guidance for how to make them accessible to students. Using this book as a reference can result in better student work and fewer frustrating conversations about why a grade is what it is on a writing assignment.
Dannelle D. Stevens, et al, Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback, and Promote Student Learning (Stylus, 2012).
Now in a revised edition, this remains perhaps the most accessible introduction to rubrics for college and university teachers. It explains rubrics in ways that make them useful to faculty in achieving their own aspirations to teach so that students learn well and still have time for scholarship and a life.
Sharon Daloz Parks, Leadership Can Be Taught: A Bold Approach for a Complex World (Harvard Business Review Press, 2005).
This is a close description and analysis of a master teacher at the Kennedy School at Harvard, Ron Heifetz. While Heifetz teaches leadership, not biblical studies, religious studies or theology, both his approach to teaching and Parks' analysis of it are provocative for thinking about the classroom and about how one might write about teaching.
Mary Hess, Luther Seminary
Stephen Brookfield's entire corpus is a treasure to mine, but this most recent of his books distills the best of his theory, practice, and commitment to learning into a pragmatic resource you won't want to put down. He engages the changing landscapes of learning with grounded, effective advice based on decades of experience. If you can only afford the time and funds to read one book -- make it this one.