Faculty Reading Group

Faculty Reading Groups

Faculty reading groups help connect KSU educators interested in building community and developing their teaching through cross-disciplinary conversations. Monthly reading groups provide an opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful conversations on topics related to teaching, professional development, and trends in higher education. This reading group is primarily intended for Kent State faculty (full or part time); other members of the community are welcome if space is available. 

Fall 2023 Faculty Reading Group

Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It by James Lang

Cover of the book called "Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It," by James M. Lang

Keeping students focused can be difficult in a world filled with distractions—which is why a renowned educator created a scientific solution to one of every teacher's biggest problems. Why is it so hard to get students to pay attention? Conventional wisdom blames iPhones, insisting that access to technology has ruined students' ability to focus. The logical response is to ban electronics in class. But acclaimed educator James M. Lang argues that this solution obscures a deeper problem: how we teach is often at odds with how students learn. Classrooms are designed to force students into long periods of intense focus, but emerging science reveals that the brain is wired for distraction. We learn best when able to actively seek and synthesize new information.

In Distracted, Lang rethinks the practice of teaching, revealing how educators can structure their classrooms less as distraction-free zones and more as environments where they can actively cultivate their students' attention. Brimming with ideas and grounded in new research, Distracted offers an innovative plan for the most important lesson of all: how to learn.

Register to Join the Reading Group and Receive a Copy of the Book!

Virtual: Mondays 12:00-1:00 pm on Teams | Sept. 18; Oct. 2, 16, 30; Nov. 13, 27


  • Sarah Andreas, PhD | Assistant Professor in Business Management and Related Technologies, Tuscarawas Campus
  • Jim Seeyle, PhD | Associate Professor in the Department of History, Stark Campus

In-Person: Wednesdays 2:00-3:00 pm in Cartwright Hall Room 141 | Sept. 20; Oct. 4, 18; Nov. 1, 15, 29


  • Stephanie Vincent, PhD | Instructor in the Department of History
  • Josh Stacher, PhD | Professor of International Relations in the School of Multidisciplinary Social Studies and Humanities

Reading Schedule:

  • September 18 & 20: Introduction and Chapter 2 (Chapter 1 is optional)
  • October 2 & 4: Chapter 3
  • October 16 & 18: Chapters 4 and 5
  • October 30 & November 1: Chapter 6
  • November 13 & 15: Chapters 7 and 8
  • November 27 & 29: Chapter 9 and Conclusion

**note: you are welcome to switch between the virtual and in-person sessions according to your schedule and needs!


Previous CTL Faculty Reading Group Books

CTL Faculty Reading Group Previous Book Covers

Spring 2023:  Picture a Professor: Interrupting Biases about Faculty and Increasing Student Learning, edited by Jessamyn Neuhaus

Fall 2022: Ungrading:  Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) by Susan D. Blum

Spring 2022:  The Spark of Learning:  Energizing College Classrooms with the Science of Emotion by Sarah Rose Cavanagh

Fall 2021:  Radical Hope by Kevin Gannon