“If we do not consciously and intentionally seek to change the norms in our classrooms, we are likely to find ourselves . . .with students paying only civil attention.”


Sociologist Jay Howard notes that in 1976 researchers Karp and Yoels distinguished between students who paid attention from students who created the appearance of paying attention, which they termed “civil attention.” If you ever had a hard time getting a discussion going in class, it may be because the students were simply being civil but not engaged.  This book is distinguished by its grounding in research and by the quality and quantity of its useful suggestions.  Because its topic is universally relevant and its advice so applicable, this book is on my short list of “Best resources for faculty members.”

Jay R. Howard, Discussion in the College Classroom: Getting Your Students Engaged and Participating in Person and Online (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2015), 45.

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