Book Club – July 2023


Thinking with Experts

Imitating experts has long been used as an effective educational strategy, from the Romans’ classical study of literature to manufacturing apprenticeship programs. Imitation allows us to expand our thinking beyond our own understanding and gain insights quickly. However, there’s a problem: in modern society, we are suspicious of imitation, considering it juvenile, disreputable, and morally wrong.

The conventional approach to cognition has convinced us that cultivating our own brains is the only path to more intelligent thinking. Annie Murphy Paul argues that engaging in effective imitation is akin to thinking with other people’s brains and, instead of hindering our capacity for independent thinking, it can actually help us achieve mastery faster.

But imitating well is not easy; in fact, it reveals a paradox: imitating well requires a considerable degree of creativity.

July 10 @ 6-7:30 PM

Thinking with Experts

At the ECAT Wayne Building
650 East Ave, Erie PA 16503


This month’s reading is a single chapter from The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain by Annie Murphy Paul.

Thinking with Experts

Annie Murphy Paul

Chapter from the book: The Extended Mind
Order book

Free copies of the chapter available upon request when registering.

Additional Resources

Optional readings and resources coming soon.

Join Now

It is free to join the book club. Register below to get started.

Where do you meet?

Meetings take place at ECAT Wayne Building.

What does a meeting look like?

After a brief welcome, we break into small 4-5 person groups and discuss the book chapter for one hour before meeting back with the larger group for closing reflection. Discussion prompts are provided to get the conversation started but each group is encouraged to discuss topics most interesting to them.

Who is this for? Can I join?

For people who teach, want to teach, or have a job that supports learning. This includes anyone who works in a learning space such as a school, afterschool center, museum, library, online classes, etc. 

We are a broad collection of people that includes school teachers, teaching artists, after-school educators, professors, school administrators, nonprofit staff, artists, creatives and parents. We all want to support programs that develop creativity.

Educators who want their student’s to develop a creative practice face unique challenges. We know that cultivating creativity in our students is vital. However, the practice of teaching creativity is challenged by an education system focused on improving standardized test scores. Conversations are focused on how we can better nurture creativity in our students and share practical strategies to overcome the unique challenges of our learning environments.


Contact Jude Shingle, Art Program Director


The Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT) is a community-based educational arts and career training facility that inspires, educates and empowers people of all ages with adult job training and creative youth programs.




Erie Center for Arts & Technology
650 East Avenue, Suite 120
Erie, PA 16503

Monday - Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM