The New College Classroom
by Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis
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Pub Date 30 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 30 Aug 2022
What the latest science of learning tells us about inspiring, effective, and inclusive teaching at the college level.
College instruction is stuck in the past. If a time traveler from a century ago arrived on today’s campuses, they would recognize only too well the listlessness of the lecture hall and the awkward silence of the seminar room. Yet we know how to do better. Cathy N. Davidson and Christina Katopodis, two of the world’s foremost innovators in higher education, turn to the latest research and methods to show how teachers at every kind of institution can help students become independent, creative, and active learners.
The New College Classroom helps instructors in all disciplines create an environment that is truly conducive to learning. Davidson and Katopodis translate cutting-edge research in learning science and pedagogy into ready-to-use strategies to incorporate into any course. These empirically driven, classroom-tested techniques of active learning—from the participatory syllabus and ungrading to grab-and-go activities for every day of the term—have achieved impressive results at community colleges and research universities, on campus, online, and in hybrid settings.
Extensive evidence shows that active-learning tools are more effective than conventional methods of instruction. Davidson and Katopodis explain how and why their approach works and provide detailed case studies of educators successfully applying active-learning techniques in their courses every day, ensuring that their students are better prepared for the world after college.
Cathy N. Davidson has published more than twenty books, including The New Education and Now You See It. A Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, she served on the National Council of Humanities, delivered a keynote address at the Nobel Prize Forum on the Future of Education, and writes regularly for the Washington Post and Chronicle of Higher Education. Christina Katopodis is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Transformative Learning in the Humanities initiative at CUNY and has authored or coauthored over a dozen articles on innovative pedagogy, environmental studies, and early American literature. She has received the Dewey Digital Teaching Award and the Diana Colbert Innovative Teaching Prize.
“In a book that is both inspirational and deeply practical, Davidson and Katopodis offer classroom instructors all the tools they need to transform traditional classrooms into learning environments that engage and empower twenty-first-century students. Grounded in cognitive science and classroom-tested examples from across the globe, The New College Classroom belongs in the hands of any educator—regardless of academic discipline—truly interested in changing students’ lives with effective teaching.”—Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race
“Davidson and Katopodis promise the moon: to provide ways for instructors to help every student learn, while also reducing the burdens for both teachers and students. Spoiler alert: they deliver! Whatever your goals—equity, effectiveness, deep learning, even enjoyment—you will find clear, practical ideas about active, participatory, student-centered learning. There’s something for every teacher, however experienced, and in any field. Read this book!”—Susan D. Blum, author of Ungrading
“The New College Classroom is one of the first books to address the challenge of transforming post-secondary education. In a clear, comprehensive, and compelling manner, the authors show classrooms where active and engaged learning is happening and explain the teaching practices that make the difference. This book is a must-read for every teacher and administrator in higher education.”—Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap
“Bold, brilliant, and beautiful. Davidson and Katopodis challenge us to reimagine what happens in the classroom so that it becomes a capacious place of learning and engagement for both students and teachers. They offer theoretical insight, but more importantly they share strategies, ideas, and examples to help spark our own creativity. In the process, they provide us with a vision of possibility for the spaces, indeed the very worlds, we inhabit.”—Farah Jasmine Griffin, author of Read Until You Understand
“Free of jargon, respectful of the ever-increasing workload of the professoriate, and passionate about the transformative potential of higher education, this book should be read by every educator and administrator, from those brand new to teaching to those who have been at it for decades.”—Jody Greene, Founding Director of the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning, University of California, Santa Cruz