Reading: Feeding the Mind and Soul

Imagine a room full of fresh-faced humanities graduate students tasked with answering this timeless question: “Why read literature?” These eager youths race to the white board, markers in hand, scribbling their answers before a timer beeps the exercise complete. You Are What You Read, by Robert DiYanni, is like the product of that exercise, replete … Continue reading “Reading: Feeding the Mind and Soul”

Are Summer Reading Assignments Indoctrinating Freshmen?

Often, incoming freshmen receive their first university assignment before the school year even begins: the summer reading. Many institutions see the summer reading assignment as an opportunity for new students to develop a sense of camaraderie. By reading the same book, the idea is that students will engage in thought-provoking conversations and have a shared … Continue reading “Are Summer Reading Assignments Indoctrinating Freshmen?”

Reforming Dysfunctional Teacher Education: ‘Back to the Future?’

Most American children are trapped in public elementary and secondary schools that are either mediocre or dysfunctional. Readers who wonder if this statement is polemical should know that for almost two decades, the federal government’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the nation’s highly respected school assessment tool, has documented that on average, less than … Continue reading “Reforming Dysfunctional Teacher Education: ‘Back to the Future?’”

The Spurning of Old Books: The Devaluation of the Past Threatens Higher Ed

Alan Jacobs’ new book, Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind, is a coaxing argument to read “old books that come from strange times.” Readers of his previous works The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction and How to Think will not be surprised that Jacobs, distinguished … Continue reading “The Spurning of Old Books: The Devaluation of the Past Threatens Higher Ed”