reading circle drawing by Katie Hoffman

Reading Circles

CTE Reading Circles are small, short-term reading groups focused on a specific book (or other text) proposed by a faculty member. The book may be on any topic, but should open conversations about teaching and learning.

The Circles meet 2-4 times in an 8-week period. The proposing faculty member sets the schedule in advance, determining the number, dates, and times of meetings, which may be held on or off campus.

The Reading Circle program is aimed at creating a space for sustained conversations and deep thinking, but without the time commitment required for participation in a Faculty Learning Community. Each year, about 100 USF faculty members join the CTE Summer Faculty Book Club, which meets once for dinner and discussion in August and again in the spring for the Provost’s Lecture in Teaching and Learning. Reading Circles provide a way for smaller groups of faculty members to pursue their interests during the academic year.

Procedure and Timeline

Any USF faculty member or librarian may propose a Reading Circle.

In the spring semester, CTE issues a call for Reading Circle proposals to be held in the following fall or spring (two cohorts of three reading circles per academic year). The proposal includes the name of a book (or other text) and a short description of the connection teaching and learning.

Following the proposal deadline, CTE will invite proposing faculty to set a meeting schedule for the semester. Reading Circles should meet 2-4 times in an 8-week period.

CTE will post the proposed circles, indicating the chosen text along with dates, times, and locations of meetings, and invite USF faculty and librarians to sign up and commit to attending all scheduled meetings. Subject to budget and other considerations, CTE Co-Directors will green-light Circles with 6 or more participants. CTE will provide texts for participants.

  • Any USF faculty member or librarian may propose a Reading Circle.
  • Circles meet 2-4 times in an 8-week period during spring semester.
  • Circles have a minimum of 6 participants and are capped at 12.
  • The proposed text may be any book that will interest faculty and open conversations about teaching and learning.
  • Number of meetings, dates, and times are set by the facilitator in advance.

The outputs of Reading Circles are collegiality, conversation, and intellectual curiosity about teaching and learning.

Spring 2018 Reading Circles

Where Good Ideas Come From: the Natural History of Innovation
by Steven Johnson
Facilitated by Cathy Gabor (Rhetoric & Language)

Feeling Power: Emotions and Education
by Megan Boler
Facilitated by Brandi Lawless (Communication Studies)

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning
by James M. Lang
Facilitated by Mathew Mitchell (Learning & Instruction)