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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Becoming a Better Teacher: Articles for New and Not-So-New Faculty

Dr. Maryellen Weimer, professor emerita at Penn State Berks notes, "A couple of months ago a colleague asked me to recommend a book for his new faculty reading group. I rattled off the names of several, but then wondered if a packet of articles might not be a better option." 

Photo: The Teaching Professor Blog

When I started to identify articles, it came to me that the what-to-read dilemma for new and not-so-new faculty goes beyond the articles themselves. It is more about the categories of work on teaching and learning rather than individual pieces. 

The Teaching Professor Blog

Teaching and learning are multi-faceted phenomena—and that’s how we should be thinking about them, right from the start. Books written for beginning teachers, in fact lots of teaching books, focus on techniques. Yes, new (and old) teachers need techniques, but when that’s the main focus, it tends to narrow the thinking and trivialize the complexities. 

The literature on teaching and learning is diverse—one of its finest features, in my opinion. It can do a good job of shaping this broader thinking if it’s sampled across disciplines, topics, and categories.

I’ve been trying to come up with a set of categories, not one that captures all the kinds of scholarship but rather one that is reflective of how those learning to teach (doesn’t that include all of us?) ought to begin and proceed. So here’s a set of categories to get us started and a couple of sample articles for each. I hope you will suggest other categories and examples that have helped you over the years, and feel encouraged to think about your pedagogical reading plans for the year ahead. How broadly have you been reading?

Related link
How Can Student Learning Begin Before the First Day of Class? 

Source: Faculty Focus