The Teaching Professor

Blog » Teaching and Learning

Teachers as Guides

Posted Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 by

Still finishing up? I remember one semester when I was doing my final grading in my office on a Saturday morning. It was very close to Christmas. I finally finished, submitted the grades, and exuberantly headed home with Christmas music on the radio far louder than it should have been. It was such a relief [...]

Sculpting: An Inspiring Metaphor

Posted Thursday, December 9th, 2010 by

What can I offer this week, which for many is one of the busiest weeks of the semester? It is such stressful time for teachers and students—everybody gets tired, even the best of us get cranky. I know what many teachers would love to have: a grading machine, delivered overnight with no assembly required.
Minus the [...]

That Content We Love

Posted Thursday, November 4th, 2010 by

I had occasion this week to reread one of my favorite articles. In this piece Marshall Gregory explores teaching 18th Century British poetry, content he loves but that his students don’t find particularly compelling. Gregory’s honesty is at times brutal—the article is such a great example of how critical reflection can lead a teacher to new insights and deeper understandings.

Learning Goals for Students

Posted Thursday, October 21st, 2010 by

As Barbara Walvoord and Virginia Anderson point out in their venerable book on grading (now available in a revised 2nd edition) goals can motivate students. Unfortunately, too often they are motivated only by the goal of getting grades and getting courses out of the way. Walvoord and Anderson suggest you tell student you know they [...]

Valuing our Community College Colleagues

Posted Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 by

In a 2009 editorial, John Moore lists some impressive figures about community colleges. There are almost 1,200 of them in the U.S., and they enroll 11.5 million students a year. About 60 percent of those students are attending college part time. Their average age is 29. Especially impressive is the fact that about 40 percent [...]

What Lectures Can Accomplish

Posted Thursday, October 14th, 2010 by

“I have never believed that there was intrinsic damage being done to students in what has been called the ‘sage on the stage’ model of teaching. I don’t think it’s always bad to listen to an expert talk about what she knows best, and I don’t think that the discussion format is inherently better than [...]

Simulations Deliver Real Benefits

Posted Thursday, September 30th, 2010 by

Simulations can be powerful active learning experiences. In the social sciences and humanities they can provide a kind of “lab-like” experience, often not a part of these courses. Finding good simulation exercises is a challenge in some fields and integrating them into the content and objectives of the course requires careful planning and execution. However, this extra work is justified given what a good simulation can accomplish in class. Check out these benefits listed in an excellent article on simulations.

Talking and Listening

Posted Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 by

One of the things about blogging that I really like is how blogs feed off each other. Here’s a great example: several entries back I shared some of the principles of effective instruction offered by Ronald J. Markert, a medical educator. One of those principles, “Good teachers do not talk as much as their less effective colleagues do—Good teachers talk less because their students are talking more,” reminded my friend and colleague Ricky Cox of a favorite quote by Deborah Meier, “Teaching is listening, learning is talking.” Ricky posted both quotes on a blog he hosts for faculty at Murray State University:

Teaching for Transformative Learning

Posted Friday, July 23rd, 2010 by

Picking up where we left off on the previous post, so how do teachers intentionally teach for transformative learning? And how do they do that, given the fact that a teacher cannot make (as in require or force) students have a learning experience that changes what they believe, how they think, or how they act? [...]

Transformative Learning

Posted Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 by

I’m immersed in writing one of 34 chapters commissioned for a handbook on transformative learning. My chapter explores the relationship between learner-centered teaching and transformative learning. I am convinced the two are related, but I’ve never spent time trying to sort out the nature of that relationship. It’s a good project—I’m learning a lot, although I seem to be uncovering more questions than answers.