President/Superintendent's Blog

Pilot CR Book Discussion Group--A Fresh Approach to Our Professional Development Efforts

Published on 9/12/2019.

The pilot CR book discussion group is an informal, cross-disciplinary gathering of CR faculty and administrators who will meet to discuss a variety of books that relate to issues related to teaching and learning.

This first book of the pilot is The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt (New York: Penguin Press, 2018).  Greg Lukianoff is CEO of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, PhD, is an ethical leadership professor at NYU-Stern School of Business.

Here’s a brief summary of the book in case you haven’t yet read it. Lukianoff and Haidt contend that parents and educational institutions, in an overabundance of caution, have taught children to fear and discard ideas and opinions that upset them. The authors assert that, this learned fear explains the recent rash of college students protesting against professors and speakers whose ideas students consider offensive.  

This pilot book discussion group will consist of three meetings and be limited to twenty-one participants. The participants will be provided with a complimentary copy of the book thanks to Wendy Bates, Director of Human Resources.  The pilot group will be facilitated by John Johnston. 

The following colleagues have agreed to participate in this pilot: Michael Dennis, Ken Letko, Ryan Emmenaker, Bernadettte Johnson, Angela Stewart, Todd Olsen, Maggie White, Rianne Connor, Cheryl Norton, Shannon Mondor, Diane Caudilo, Emily Wright, Pete Blakemore, Gary Sokolow, Ruthe Rhodes, Michelle Haggerty, Angelina Hill, Kerry Mayer, Keith Flamer, George Potamianos, and John Johnston. The participants have been asked to commit to the following scheduled sessions:

  • Friday, October 11 12pm (“Part 1: Three Bad Ideas” & “Part 2: Bad Ideas in Action”)
  • Friday, November 8 12pm (“Part 3: How Did We Get Here”)
  • Friday, December 13 12pm (“Part 4: Wising Up”)

Special thanks go to John Johnston for creating the vision for the CR book discussion group. I think John's vision has the potential to influence our organization culture and impact student learning.


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