Readings for Teaching in Higher Education

By Sandy Chapman

"...all of us engaged in the teaching enterprise owe it to our students to do two things: Consult experts on teaching and learning, both in print and in person. And talk with each other as much as we can about what works in the classroom, what doesn't, and why."

In An Education in Education, an article appearing in the "On Course" section, of The Chronicle of Higher Education, the columnist, James M. Lang, a professor of English, suggests that professors can learn a thing or two from those in the school of education. He makes a case for college instructors perhaps benefitting from an occasional reading of the literature and research on the topics of teaching and learning. Lang's article provides a few suggestions on books for best teaching practices, such as What the Best Teachers Do (2004) by Ken Bain. Books on the list may inspire many faculty members and help them to grow and develop as teachers.

In Tomorrow's Professor Msg. #39, Rick Reis provides a list of twelve books categorized—under four headings—that every science and engineering professor should have on their shelf or department office:

  • General References
  • Preparing for Academic Careers
  • Succeeding as a Professor
  • Time-Life Balance

Many of the books on the list would be of interest to those who are teaching in disciplines other than science and engineering as well, such as Rhythms of Academic Life: Personal Accounts of Careers in Academia by P.J. Frost and M. S. Taylor (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996) and Coping with Faculty Stress by W.H. Gmelch (London, SAGE Publications, 1993).

Happy reading!


Lang, J. M. (2006, July 10). An education in education. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved June 13, 2007, from

Reis, R. (200x). The designated dozen: twelve books every science and engineering professor should have on their shelf, or in their department office. Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List, Msg. #39.Retrieved June 13, 2007, from