James M. Lang announces a new book series on teaching

Those of you familiar with James M. Lang’s books, or who remember him from his excellent keynote address at our first teaching and learning conference, will be pleased to see this announcement of his on his blog:

New Book Series Announcement

I am very pleased to announce that I will be editing a new series of books on teaching and learning in higher education from the University of Nebraska Press.  We are anticipating publishing one or two titles per year for the next four years, and then seeing where things stand and evaluating whether that pace makes sense.  As I described it in the proposal, the series will have three distinctive features:

1) None of the pseudo-objective, passive-voiced prose that characterizes too much literature on teaching and learning.  First and foremost we are looking for authors who can write.  As my editor at HUP once described it, the reader should be able to discern a human being behind the prose.  We are looking for lively prose voices that know how to blend the personal and reportorial with the (social) scientific.  For excellent examples of the kinds of prose voices we are seeking, see the recent books of Ken Bain or Cathy N. Davidson.

2) All books will rest on a solid foundation of knowledge from the learning sciences.  While certainly not every book will focus explicitly on findings from cognitive psychology or neuroscience, we want to ensure that our authors have a basic familiarity with what scientists tell us about how the brain learns.

3) Each title will focus on a very specific problem, challenge, or approach facing or available to 21st-century higher education faculty.  So we envision a title on the teaching of writing in the digital age, for example–one that can guide faculty who might find themselves responsible for teaching writing in general education courses without having had any background or training in the teaching of writing.  The books will survey what the literature of the learning sciences tells us about their subject, and then offer practical implications and guidelines for working faculty or administrators.

We have not yet formalized these guidelines into a call for proposals; check back here over the next month or so and I hope to have that formal document ready soon.  In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more or would like to propose an topic, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  You can find me most easily on Twitter at LangOnCourse or via e-mail at lang followed by the @assumption.edu.

It would be wonderful if some UH professors would take advantage of this opportunity to publish a book in Lang’s series, which I think will get a lot of attention, given his interest in finding professors capable of communicating their insights to a multidisciplinary audience.


[Thanks to Miranda Bennett for passing this along]