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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Giving and Receiving Instructional Advice | Faculty Development - Faculty Focus

Reprinted from Is it good advice? The Teaching Professor, 27.4 (2013): 4. © Magna Publications.


"How much instructional advice have you heard over the years? How often when you talk about an instructional issue are you given advice, whether you ask for it or not?" explains
Maryellen Weimer, PhD, Author at Faculty Focus. 
 
Photo: Faculty Focus

Let’s say you’re a new teacher or you’re teaching a class you haven’t taught before or something unexpected happens in your class; if you’d like some advice, all you need to do is ask. Anybody who’s spent any time in the classroom seemingly has the right to offer advice. And if you’d rather read advice, there’s still plenty offered in the pedagogical literature, to say nothing of blogs and other social media sources.

Some of the advice offered by colleagues and in articles is excellent. Most of us can recite the good and wise things we’ve learned from fellow teachers. But not all instructional advice is equally good, and it’s not always easy to separate the good advice from advice that is decidedly ho-hum or just plain not very good. The problem is that really bad advice can be delivered articulately and with great conviction. So when a colleague offers advice or you read an article that tells you what you should do about some instructional issue, here are some criteria you can use to consider the merits of what’s being offered...

I think all of us ought to be a bit more careful about offering advice, particularly the definitive here’s-exactly-how-you-do-that kind of instructional advice. If something works well for us, that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to work equally well when another teacher who teaches a different subject and larger classes tries to use it. Making suggestions, proposing alternatives, exploring options, and asking questions is a better way of helping someone who looks like he or she might want or need advice.
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Source: Faculty Focus


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