Sunday, November 14, 2010

Teaching Tip #18

I had a very wise professor in my first graduate program. "If you want people to learn something, tell them what you want them to learn," he said. Now, he wasn't himself the greatest teacher who ever lived, and to be honest (this was the 70s) he actually smoked in class! But his advice was sage..

I have never understood how professors say, "Read the five chapters and there will be a test on it in two weeks." How would anyone know how to study for that? How would anyone know what's important? Even if all the Cornell notetaking methods, etc, are used, it still doesn't tell the students what the teacher thinks is priority.

I am a firm believer in reading and study guides. I don't think they have to be considered spoon feeding. Nothing in a study guide says, "You don't have to think critically" or "you don't have to learn very much." Study guides do not have to be pablum. They can be rigorous, but clear.

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