A university-wide common reading experience is designed to give all GWC community members (faculty, staff and students) a common intellectual experience that allows for important dialogue and meaningful engagement around the book inside and outside of the classroom. A university-wide common reading program seeks to unite students from across academic disciplines by inviting them to read and discuss a common book together. A common book not only shows students that reading and intellectual thought are valued at the university, but it also provides them with a safe environment in which to discuss their own understanding of a book in respectful dialogue with others and to listen with appreciation to the diverse perspectives of others.
Reading the selected common text is not enough, however, and our goal is to provide ongoing opportunities for students to enhance their critical thinking skills while at the same time tackling important issues as they read and discuss our chosen text. The common read will be used as a basis for guided classroom discussions, a common resource for classroom and out-of-class activities, and an opportunity for guest speakers and related experts in the field to share their views with the campus community.
Chronicle of Higher Education