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A Few Good Books on Teaching and Learning

Some of our favorites books on teaching and learning listed below, and many others, are available for you to borrow in DCAL. Please stop by our office in 102 Baker to select one of these helpful books from the available titles.  To see other recommended books on college teaching, look at this WikiPodia site (link will open in new window).

Susan A. Ambrose et al., How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010.

"Drawing upon new research in psychology, education, and cognitive science, the authors have demystified a complex topic into clear explanations of seven powerful learning principles. Full of great ideas and practical suggestions, all based on solid research evidence, this book is essential reading for instructors at all levels who wish to improve their students' learning," says Barbara Gross Davis of the University of California, Berkeley.

James Lang, On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to your First Semester of College Teaching. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.

This book, ideal for new and future faculty, presents research-based advice on teaching and teaching strategies that are both effective and manageable to implement.  Find answers to many of the questions you have about college teaching...

Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki, Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers.  Twelfth Edition.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

"If you have room for only one pedagogical book on your shelf, it ought to be Wilbert McKeachie's Teaching Tips," says Bill McAllister of the University of Virginia.  This book is perhpas the most valuable and easy-to-consult resource on teaching.  See the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Index from

Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

One of the most lively, humorous, touching and helpful books on college teaching ever published. Ken Bain draws from years of experience directing the Center for Teaching Excellence at NYU and other teaching centers. He has a very broad and deep understanding of what the best teachers do.

Ellen Sarkisian, Teaching American Students: A Guide for International Faculty and Teaching Assistants in Colleges and Universities. Third Edition. Cambridge, MA: Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, 2006.

This sensibly and sensitively revised book is a must for teachers unfamiliar with higher education in North American colleges and universities. It takes full account of the need for American students to develop better learning skills and a stronger sense of inclusiveness even as it advises international faculty on how to establish healthy environments for learning and how to avoid or de-fuse difficult situations.

National Research Council, Science Teaching Reconsidered: A Handbook.  Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.

Produced by the Committee on Undergraduate Science Education of the National Research Council, this is a handbook that surveys productive methods for effective teaching in science courses.   See the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Index from

Alan Brinkley et al., The Chicago Handbook for Teachers: A Practical Guide to the College Classroom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Lots of good practical advice, especially for new teachers and teachers in the first five years of their careers.

Derek Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should be Learning More. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006.

President Derek Bok of Harvard University weighs in with some seasoned wisdom on the debate about teaching and learning in American higher education. He responds with balance and real information to the assaults launched by William Bennet, Lynne Chaney, Dinesh D'Souza, Charles Sykes and Allan Bloom.

[Please e-mail DCAL with suggestions for other good books on teaching.]

Last Updated: 11/11/15