McGlynn, A. P. (2007). Teaching today’s college students: Widening the circle of success. Madison (WI): Atwood.
Reviewed by: Melanie Santarossa, University of Windsor
Angela Provitera McGlynn’s Teaching Today’s College Students: Widening the Circle of Success provides an in-depth look at the complex make-up of today’s college students. Grounded in current research in education and coupled with relevant insight from her thirty-five year career, McGlynn concludes that for college students to be successful, instructors must reflect the cultural, racial, generational, and socio-economical background of their pupils in their classroom practices.
The central ideas of Teaching Today’s College Students: Widening the Circle of Success parallel Catherine Black’s treatment of today’s diverse student population in The Dynamic Classroom: Engaging Students in Higher Education. Both The Dynamic Classroom and Teaching Today’s College Students claim that since there is no single method to teach the varied demographics of the twenty-first-century classroom, instructors must be willing to try new strategies to captivate students. In comparison to The Dynamic Classroom, which contains a collection of essays aimed at engaging students with technologies or in large classes, Teaching Today’s College Students addresses how consideration of the diversity in one’s classroom changes the educational landscape for both teacher and student; rather than seeing one another as problematic, the diversity transforms each class into a teachable moment.
The student-centred approach that is the theme of Teaching Today’s College Students: Widening the Circle of Success positions itself alongside Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers as a useful resource for both new and experienced teaching professionals. While the topics discussed in Teaching Tips and Teaching Today’s College Students are supported by relevant theory and research, Teaching Today’s College Students moves a step beyond by its incorporation of sample teaching materials to aid the development of one’s pedagogical practice.
In essence, Readers of Teaching College Students: Widening the Circle for Success will appreciate McGlynn’s dedication to improving the craft of teaching and in turn the education of college students everywhere.