Learning Communities & Book Groups

Would you like to join with other faculty to talk about teaching?  Are you interested in exploring instructional topics with a small, interdisciplinary group of faculty?  Then consider becoming a member of a Faculty Learning Community (FLC).  Members may select a book to discuss, engage in teaching observations, or determine an instructional improvement project of interest to the group.

All meetings are held via Zoom, unless otherwise noted.

Learning Communities

Restorative Justice Principles and Practices

Dates: 12:00-1:30 p.m., Monday, 11/9 & 11/11
Candice Barnes and Dierre Littleton

Restorative Justice provides a way in which you can build alliances, model justice and fairness, and build a platform for conflict recovery. The first session is a knowledge building opportunity to explore the overall concept and how it can be used effectively in higher education institutions. The second session presents restorative justice practices and strategies which can be used in classrooms, and other university divisions, to promote constructive and corrective options before disciplinary actions are implemented. Register online!


Imitation of Life Film Series

Date: 3:00-4:00 p.m., Tuesdays, 9/29, 10/27, 2/23, 3/30
Facilitator(s): Candice Barnes and Dierre Littleton

Imitation of Life will curate four documentaries that focus on issues of equity. You will be asked to watch the assigned documentary before attending the session. During the session, you will engage in a critical conversation about the film and how the messages of the documentary can influence your professional practices and deepen your understanding of the issue. Register online!


“Unlocking Us” by Brene’ Brown – Podcast Discussions for Women

Dates: 2:00-3:00 p.m., Wednesdays, 9/23, 10/7, 10/21, 11/4, 11/18
Facilitators: Debra Burris and Lisa Skultety

Women at UCA will discuss select episodes of Brene’ Browns’ podcast “Unlocking Us.” We will “join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.” (from brenebrown.com) Register online!


Critical Service-Learning and Decolonizing Community Engagement

Dates: 2:00-3:00 p.m., Thursdays, 10/1, 10/15, 10/29, 11/12
Facilitator: Lesley Graybeal

Critical service-learning is an approach to community engagement in higher education that examines relationships of power and seeks authentic relationships between students, faculty, and community members. This learning community will examine our current community engagement practices and philosophies with a critical lens, with the goal of identifying new opportunities for transformational partnerships and experiences. This group will examine the assumptions and values on with traditional service-learning is based, who is served and marginalized by a traditional approach to service-learning, how service-learning can be used to promote transformational partnerships in the community, and how service-learning can support students’ identities as members of multiple communities. Register online!


Book Groups

Teaching to Transgress Book and March Graphic Novel Series Discussion

Dates: 11:30-1:00 p.m., Fridays, 10/9, 10/30, 11/20
Facilitators: Taine Duncan and Allen Thomas

Theory, experience, and praxis are all irrevocably tied together, and so are the works and media that stem from these domains. bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress is a guide to challenging pedagogy as we know it, and the graphic novel March by the late Representative John Lewis, Nate Powell, and Andrew Aydin recounts his experiences of activism during the Civil Rights Movement, and both of these works highlight distinctions in the process of changing our sociopolitical worlds. Through these media, we will explore together the idea of Transgression in instruction and politics, how we can push against marginalizing systems to create new understandings of the world and each other that can contribute to a more equitable, and hopefully more liberated, society. Register online!


White Like Me

Dates: 2:00-3:00 p.m., Mondays, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9
Facilitator: Cristine Busser

“The inspiration for the acclaimed documentary film, this deeply personal polemic reveals how racial privilege shapes the daily lives of white Americans in every realm: employment, education, housing, criminal justice, and elsewhere. Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise examines what it really means to be white in a nation created to benefit people who are ‘white like him.’ This inherent racism is not only real, but disproportionately burdens people of color and makes progressive social change less likely to occur. Explaining in clear and convincing language why it is in everyone’s best interest to fight racial inequality, Wise offers ways in which white people can challenge these unjust privileges, resist white supremacy and racism, and ultimately help to ensure the country’s personal and collective well-being.” (from Amazon) Register online!


How to Be an Antiracist

Dates: 3:00-4:00 p.m., Tuesdays 10/6, 10/20, 11/3, 11/17, 12/1
Facilitator: Amy Hawkins

“Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, [Ibram] Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves. Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.” (from Amazon) Register online!