Thursday, January 21, 2010

Teaching and Learning Books for ASPers

Here is a list of non-traditional (i.e., "ASP") books that I would recommend ASP professionals check out. These are books that you might find helpful when planning for classes and learning a bit more about teaching and learning.

What Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain

Read this in anticipation of Mike Schwartz's upcoming book, What Best Law Professors Do. I think we will see considerable overlap between what good teachers of any discipline do in the classroom.

Teaching Law By Design by Schwartz, Hess, and Sparrow

By three of the great thinkers in humanizing legal education and ASP.

Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

I often start spring semester ASP classes with some of the science behind great achievement. The truly fantastic--Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs--have more than talent. The start with some talent, but they use deliberate practice to hone their skills. Great achievement is more about intense, correct study and practice in a discipline than some amorphous, intangible "thing" only some people have. This puts students back in control of their education, and helps move them past some of the self-pity that accompanies less-than-stellar grades. For most struggling students, they can change if they use the right study habits, and giving them some science to back up that assertion gives it more weight.

Changing Minds by Howard Gardner (yes, the same one behind Multiple Intelligences)

This is a book that is about changing established patterns of thought, entrenched beliefs, and attitudes.Inflexible beliefs are the downfall of many during their first year; breaking them of emotional, illogical thought patterns and teaching them dispassionate analysis without breaking their spirit and motivation in the process is one of the toughest parts of ASP.  Law school is about learning how to think in a new way; this puts educational theory behind what we are supposed to be facilitating.


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