Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thinking about Teaching and Learning

Photo: Maryellen Weimer, Ph.D.
Dr. Maryellen Weimer, professor emerita at Penn State Berks writes, "I heard someone say today that he’s been teaching for 50 years and never really thought about his teaching. “I just go in there and teach—I don’t think about it.” 

And here I am having spent something like 45 years thinking a lot about my own teaching and that of everyone else. From my perspective, it’s hard to imagine teaching without thinking about it." 

Photo: The Teaching Professor Blog

I doubt that you’d be reading a blog like this one if you didn’t think about your teaching, but the comment did lead me in a potentially useful direction: What’s healthy thinking about teaching? If we do think about it, what are some constructive cornerstones within which our thinking can occur? Here’s a place to start.

The Teaching Professor Blog

Don’t think about teaching without thinking about learning
We were pretty much fixated on teaching during the 1980s and before. We assumed that learning was the inevitable, automatic outcome of good teaching—not an entirely bogus assumption. Research has identified certain ingredients and components of effective instruction that can be linked to learning outcomes. Then in the 1990s we “discovered” learning. Like the new world Columbus visited, learning had always been there but it wasn’t a place we had explored or conquered. The focus on learning has been productive, offering many new insights and understandings. But what’s healthiest it seems to me is thinking about both, together. I used to think of them as two sides of the same coin, but that still conveys a certain separateness when they need to be thought of as inseparable. Teaching that doesn’t promote learning has no reason for being.

One of the ongoing criticisms of learner-centered approaches is that students are being left to teach themselves. But that’s an incorrect conclusion. It’s learner-centered teaching—it’s those instructional strategies and approaches designed and used by teachers who want learners to be motivated, independent, and self-regulated.

Source: Faculty Focus