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From Heidi Kennedy in Academic Program Management, I received the following link, which is worth looking at if you’re interested in looking at the practice of the most effective teachers. The Chron profiled four professors who received the Carnegie Foundation’s top prize for outstanding undergraduate teaching. My favorite comment came from Prof. Stephen Chew, Chair of Psychology at Samford:
The key is to know the students’ level of understanding, he said. “Professors have to meet the students where they are, understand what their beliefs and misconceptions are, and then go from there to bring them up to where they want them to be.”
He also tries to help his students develop better studying skills, talking to them about misconceptions about learning and the bad habits that undermine the learning process.
“I measure my success on what my students take from my class,” he said. “I’m interested in knowing what they can do after they have the class that they couldn’t do before they had the class.”
For those interested in reading more about this subject, I highly recommend Ken Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do, which details the practices of the best teachers in a variety of disciplines.