All posts by Joanne Dolan

Whistling Vivaldi

Bookclub Review: Whistling Vivaldi

Every semester, CATL sponsors a bookclub to discuss books that broadly impact teaching, learning and life on campus. Fall 2013 saw an invested group of faculty and staff discussing Whistling Vivaldi, an insider’s view into Claude M. Steele’s research and groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity. Dr. Gaurav Bansal offered this review of the book.

In Whistling Vivaldi Claude Steele describes that no one is immune from the threat or fear of being stereotyped – that is the fear of what other people could think about us solely because of our race, gender, age, etc. Claude talks about the series of creative experiments he has carried out where he deliberately induced or cleverly removed the stereotype threat. The book shows that the fear of being stereotyped hinders our performance – and it affects each group differently. It affects African Americans on test of intellectual abilities, as it hinders the Math performance of female students among others. The findings presented in this book unearth the powerful and prevalent ways in which group identity affects us all. Every one of us is part of some group affected by negative perceptions and stereotype threats. The awareness of this commonality should help us reconcile with the experiences of others around us.

Copies of Steele’s book are available from the CATL library in IS1144. Interested in suggesting a book or joining us for the Spring Bookclub? Email us at catl@uwgb.edu

Still from the movie Mean Girls

Who Will You Sit With at Lunchtime?

When I was a kid, we moved every few years. My father was in Corporate America, in Middle Management, and in what at that time was this growth industry called Data Processing. This meant, he was relocated every 2-3 years until I was about 13. When you’re a kid, making friends is pretty easy. Nearly all the members of your peer group are open-minded, still, and while politics will emerge as one grows older, there always seemed to be someone who would latch on to the new person and claim “friends.” Continue reading

Writing

Informal Writing Assignments

In November 2012, Maryellen Weimer of The Teaching Professor at Faculty Focus, discussed Writing Across the Curriculum, and in particular, the benefits of informal writing. In addition to improving writing skills, integrating writing assignments into your curriculum also promotes learning – “it clarifies ideas, generates reasons, and crystallizes arguments”. Continue reading