"Never Doubt that a Small Group of Thoughtful, Committed Citizens can change the World": The Story of A College of Business and Management Reading Society Founded on Margaret Mead's Words
In Fall of 2002, motivated by the golden words of Margaret Mead and the movie, Dead Poets Society, in collaboration with my departmental colleagues, I initiated a student oriented reading society. This society consisted of monthly gathering of those students who would be committed to engage in critical reading of articles from alternative and practitioner journals and actively discuss them in the society's meetings. The main aims of the society were: a) providing a forum for students for sharing their views in a democratic and egalitarian way based on a set of common list of readings; b) presenting a feasible model for lifelong learning; c) developing a participative and impacting opportunity for a different kind of extra-curricular activity for students; d) cultivating a culture of reading and keeping current in the college. The society has been sustained and flourished since 2002 with more students being added to the list of lifelong members each year. Faculty have been supportive of this project and have actively promoted it in their classes. In my presentation, I will narrate the impetus, details of the method and process, and the results of this model program at Northeastern Illinois University.
Keywords: Reading Society, Reading Culture, Lifelong Learning, Critical Reading, Extra-Curricular Activity, Democratic and Egalitarian Participation
Dr. Hamid Akbari
Department Chair and Associate Professor of Management, Department of Management and Marketing