What the Best College Teachers Do

Ken Bain


In Circulation

What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.

The short answer is--it's not what teachers do, it's what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out--but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.

In stories both humorous and touching, Bain describes examples of ingenuity and compassion, of students' discoveries of new ideas and the depth of their own potential. What the Best College Teachers Do is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration for first-year teachers and seasoned educators.

What will you learn from this book

  1. Focus on Student Learning: Exceptional college teachers prioritize student learning outcomes over merely covering content, aiming to facilitate deep understanding and critical thinking skills.

  2. Engagement and Interaction: Effective teachers engage students actively in the learning process, fostering meaningful interactions through discussions, group activities, and hands-on experiences.

  3. Student-Centered Approach: The book emphasizes the importance of a student-centered approach to teaching, where instructors tailor instruction to meet the diverse needs and interests of their students.

  4. High Expectations: Exceptional teachers set high expectations for their students, challenging them to strive for excellence and reach their full potential.

  5. Feedback and Assessment: Bain highlights the importance of providing timely and constructive feedback to students, as well as using varied assessment methods to gauge student learning and progress.

  6. Passion and Enthusiasm: The best college teachers are passionate and enthusiastic about their subject matter, inspiring students with their love for learning and creating a positive classroom environment.

  7. Critical Reflection: Effective educators engage in regular self-reflection and evaluation of their teaching practices, seeking feedback from colleagues and students to continually improve their instructional methods.

  8. Adaptability: Exceptional teachers are flexible and adaptable, willing to experiment with new teaching strategies and techniques to meet the changing needs of their students and the evolving landscape of higher education.

  9. Building Relationships: Bain emphasizes the importance of building rapport and trust with students, fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment where students feel valued and respected.

  10. Lifelong Learning: The book encourages educators to embrace lifelong learning and professional development, continuously seeking out opportunities to enhance their teaching skills and stay abreast of developments in their field.

Language English
ISBN-10 0674013255
ISBN-13 9780674013254
No of pages 207
Book Publisher Harvard University Press
Published Date 30 Apr 2004

About Author

Author : Ken Bain


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