What we are Reading (and Listening To)

Submit Reading/Listening Recommendations.

On Being Wrong

Contributed by: Deb Mashek

On Being Wrong, TED talk by Kathryn Schultz.

Favorite excerpts: "In fact, most of us do everything we can to avoid thinking about being wrong, or at least to avoid the possibility that we ourselves are wrong. We get it in the abstract. We all know everybody in this room makes mistakes. The human species, in general, is fallible -- okay fine. But when it comes down to me, right now, to all the beliefs I hold, here in the present tense, suddenly all of this abstract appreciation of fallibility goes out the window -- and I can't actually think of anything I'm wrong about. And the thing is, the present tense is where we live. We go to meetings in the present tense; we go on family vacations in the present tense; we go to the polls and vote in the present tense. So effectively, we all kind of wind up traveling through life, trapped in this little bubble of feeling very right about everything." "So why do we get stuck in this feeling of being right? One reason, actually, has to do with a feeling of being wrong. So let me ask you guys something...How does it feel -- emotionally -- how does it feel to be wrong? Dreadful, thumbs down, embarrassing -- thank you, these are great answers, but they're answers to a different question. You guys are answering the question: How does it feel to realize you're wrong?...But just being wrong doesn't feel like anything."

Note from Contributor

"I believe that intellectual humility is an essential ingredient for effectively engaging with diverse others, regardless of the form of that diversity. This short TED talk helps make salient the importance of pausing to consider the very real possibility that may of us move through the world with unfounded certainty of our rightness. "

Teaching Tidbits

Contributed by: Rachel Levy

Teaching Tidbits.Mathematical Association of America website.

Teaching Tidbits is a blog hosted by the Mathematical Association of America. We recognize that few instructors have time to keep up with every advance in educational research, read books on pedagogical practices, and re-envision their classes each year. Teaching Tidbits will provide quality, evidence-based ideas with high impact and low time commitment that can be used by a wide audience. Our goal is to provide ideas that you could read on your smartphone or tablet on the way to class, then try the same day! The primary audience for the blog is post-secondary math instructors, however many of the tips would be useful to the K-12 community. The posts will appear every other Tuesday during the semester and will be written by the editors or guest authors. All blog entries will be reviewed and edited prior to publication. Please email suggestions for posts and leads on interesting ideas to teachingtidbits@maa.org.

Note from Contributor

The blog focuses on active learning and inclusive teaching. I'm part of the writing/editing team, but there are a lot of people involved. It is a math blog, but the tips are concise, generally low cost, very practical and useful outside of math.

Make Your Home Among Strangers

Contributed by: Laura Palucki-Blake

Make Your Home Among Strangers. author: Crucet, Jennine Capo. New York: Picador, 2016.

When Lizet - the daughter of Cuban immigrants and the first in her family to graduate from high school - secretly applies and is accepted to an ultra-elite college, her parents are furious at her decision to leave Miami. Just weeks before she's set to start school, her parents' divorce and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and Leidy - Lizet's older sister, a brand-new single mom-without a steady income and scrambling for a place to live ... Pulled between life at college and the needs of those she loves, Lizet is faced with difficult decisions that will change her life. -- Provided by publisher.

Note from Contributor

This is an engaging read about what it's like to be a first generation college student (and a minority) at an elite school (a very thinly veiled Cornell) it's very realistic in its portrayal of how one learns to navigate structures of an elite school, and how the choices we make and identities we choose to display (or hide) are shaped by the experience of college. It really does put into high relief how disorienting college can be.

Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure

Contributed by: Ambereen Dadabhoy

Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenureed. Patricia A Matthew. Durham: U of North Carolina P, 2016.

Every scholar of color has a story about reappointment, tenure, or promotion that involves an issue of race. The academy may have a reputation for seeking diversity in its professoriate, but reports from faculty of color around the country make clear that departments and administrators engage in practices that range from unintentional to malignant discrimination. Stories abound of scholars--despite impressive records of publication, superlative teaching evaluations, and exemplary service to their universities--struggling on the tenure track. These stories, however, are rarely shared for public consumption. Written/unwritten reveals that faculty often face two sets of rules when applying for reappointment, tenure, and promotion: those made explicit in handbooks and faculty orientations or determined by union contracts and those that operate beneath the surface -- Provided by publisher.

Note from Contributor

This book is about the lack of diversity in the professoriate and how that can take a toll on faculty of color in their interactions with colleagues and administrators. I have found this book valuable as a resource as I navigate the tenure track as a woman of color, but also because it provides a useful framework for non-faculty of color to think about and take action on making their campuses more equitable for everyone, including their colleagues. The chapters in this book range from creating inclusive curricula to bias in evaluations to the increasing use of contingent labor on our campuses to the invisibility of certain minoritized populations. This is a great book and I think everyone should read it.

Advocating for Diversity and Inclusion in Faculty Hiring

Contributed by: Dagan Karp

Advocating for Diversity and Inclusion in Faculty Hiring, Darryl Yong and Sumun Pendakur, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Volume 64, Number 8, pp 897-902, September 2017.

Best practices for diversity and inclusion in faculty hiring.

Note from Contributor

These practices were developed by scholars at Mudd and can be implemented in faculty searches at Mudd.

Teaching Tolerance Website

Contributed by: Erika Dyson

Teaching Tolerance website.

This website has a wealth of resources, aimed at classroom practices, professional development, educating future democratic citizens, facilitating difficult conversations, etc.

Note from Contributor

See description. Thanks again to Colleen Lewis for the suggestion!

Unconscious Bias in Teaching

Contributed by: Erika Dyson

Unconscious Bias in Teaching,” MIT Teaching Systems Lab website, [accessed Sep 5, 2017]

Interactive case studies for understanding bias in STEM

Note from Contributor

This site is great for both practical and theoretical offerings to help educators understand their own implicit biases, to improve their teaching to be more inclusive, and to see how institutional structures and practices contribute to discriminatory treatment of some students. Thanks to Colleen Lewis for the suggestion!

Why Diverisity Programs Fail

Contributed by: Erika Dyson

Dobbin, F. and Kalev, A. “Why Diversity Programs Fail.” Harvard Business Review. (July 2016)

In analyzing three decades’ worth of data from more than 800 U.S. firms and interviewing hundreds of line managers and executives at length, we’ve seen that companies get better results when they ease up on the control tactics. It’s more effective to engage managers in solving the problem, increase their on-the-job contact with female and minority workers, and promote social accountability—the desire to look fair-minded. That’s why interventions such as targeted college recruitment, mentoring programs, self-managed teams, and task forces have boosted diversity in businesses. Some of the most effective solutions aren’t even designed with diversity in mind. Here, we dig into the data, the interviews, and company examples to shed light on what doesn’t work and what does.

Note from Contributor

A short piece looking specifically at the reasons why diversity trainings in industry don’t work as well as they might, and even sometimes increase bias. The article has many links to other articles, many which are available through our library website, if not online.

Two Types of Diversity Training that Really Work

Contributed by: Erika Dyson

Lindsey, A., King, E., Membere, A., and Cheung, H. K. “Two Types of Diversity Training that Really Work.” Harvard Business Review. July 2017) [accessed Sep 5, 2017].

[A] recent meta-analysis of over 40 years of diversity training evaluations showed that diversity training can work, especially when it targets awareness and skill development and occurs over a significant period of time. But this doesn’t mean there’s a single perfect solution to creating diverse and inclusive organizations. Diversity training effectiveness depends on the specific training method used, the personality characteristics of those who are trained, and the specific outcomes that are measured after training concludes.Our research highlights how changing a few aspects of diversity training might actually make a difference, depending on how they’re applied within organizations. While our work takes the form of small-scale experiments with undergraduate students, we believe it has potential to be used smartly inside companies.”

Note from Contributor

This is a short piece, but it is one that offers a couple of small-scale strategies for combatting bias in institutions. It maybe something that we could use in a short segment within a regular faculty meeting.

A Review of Diversity Training Programmes in Organisations: Context, Design and Outcomes

Contributed by: Erika Dyson

Alhejji, H., and Garavan, T. S. “A Review of Diversity Training Programmes in Organisations: Context, Design and Outcomes.” UFHRD Conference 2013. Human Resource Development Quarterly (27) 1 (Spring 2016): 95-149.

Diversity training has emerged as an important HR practices in organisations to manage diversity and contribute to diversity awareness, knowledge, skills and attitude. Although diversity training research has gained momentum in recent years, the literature in diversity training for employees is diverse, fragmented and lacking strong theoretical underpins. In this paper we conducted a systematic review of 36 studies of diversity training in organisations to identify the context of diversity training programmes, the design features of these programmes and the outcomes reported for diversity training. We identify a number of important theoretical and methodological gaps in the current literature and make recommendation for both research and practice.

Note from Contributor

Another good resource for understanding a range of studies in existence, and the kinds of research and assessment that could yet be done.