The Libraries and the Psychology department invite UT faculty and staff to participate in a Lifelong Learning Book Club during spring semester.
Read The Missing Course: Everything They Never Taught You About College Teaching, by David Gooblar, and join us at monthly discussion sessions. The e-book is available online through the UT Libraries’ catalog, linked below.
The remaining meetings (March 27th, April 24th, and May 8th) have all been moved to Zoom!
We meet from 1pm to 3pm.
Zoom meeting ID: 286-133-5130
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://tennessee.zoom.us/j/2861335130
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16699006833,2861335130# or +13462487799,2861335130#
We can’t just tell students what they need to know and be done with teaching; students need to create their own understanding of the world through active engagement.
Forcing students to learn, or even coercing them through the threat of negative consequences, is at best an inefficient way to teach; at worst it’s a recipe for failure for both teacher and student. Much better, of course, is that the students’ goals line up with our own.
At the beginning of a new semester, instructors—particularly novice ones—often confront a similar experience. It can be overwhelming to think of all the choices you have to make to put a college course together, especially because these choices do matter to most instructors. What are your objectives for the students? How will you assess whether they meet those objectives? How will you spend time in class so that they will succeed on those assessments? And where will you start?
No teaching strategy works all the time, with every group of students.
Being able to see your failures and other setbacks as learning opportunities—and not as indications of lack of talent or intelligence—is crucial to achieving success in almost any pursuit.
Students are understandably concerned about the results of the products they make for our classes—the artifacts that we will be grading them on. But whenever possible, we should try to steer their attention to their process, to the way they do their work.
If teaching has always required a straddling of the worlds inside and outside the classroom, such straddling has only gotten more pressing—and more difficult—in recent years. It no longer seems possible for any teacher to keep the world of politics at bay.
The best teachers respond to students in the moment, working with them as they figure things out. They don’t fear uncertainty but embrace it as a necessary precondition of learning. They see moments of uncomfortable silence not as evidence that the class is a disaster but as valuable opportunities for reflection.