What the Best College Teachers Do

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Harvard University Press, Apr 30, 2004 - Education - 207 pages
10 Reviews

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jimrgill - LibraryThing

I suspect that most instructors who will read this book already possess much of the wisdom contained in its pages—and that’s fine. Who doesn’t benefit from positive affirmation of good habits and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ldmarquet - LibraryThing

Isn’t it all about getting people to think? College costs since I graduated in 1981 have risen twice as fast as medical costs, three times as fast as family incomes and four times as fast as inflation ... Read full review

Contents

Defining the Best
1
What Do They Know about How We Learn?
22
How Do They Prepare to Teach?
48
What Do They Expect of Their Students?
68
How Do They Conduct Class?
98
How Do They Treat Their Students?
135
How Do They Evaluate Their Students and Themselves?
150
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About the author (2004)

Ken Bain is President of the Best Teachers Institute and a former professor of history at Northwestern, Vanderbilt, the University of Texas, and New York University.

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