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What the Best College Teachers Do
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
27 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2009
This book presents itself as a serious source of ideas for becoming an effective college progessor. However, it is extremely vague to say the least. The author indicates that it is the product of 15 years of research but no serious data are provided; it's all anecdotal. For a better coverage of effective college teaching read "Saints and Scamps" by Steven Cahn, which is shorter and far deeper in its coverage.
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37 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2007
This book was completely unhelpful. It is filled with inspiring anecdotes of "what the best college teachers do" that illustrate some inspiring and earth-shaking revelations such as "treat your students like human beings" and "don't lecture for 2 hours at a time." All of his advice is abstract with few practical applications, and the rest is common-sense knowledge. Do not buy this book.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
I was hoping to find a book for college teachers that is as useful as "Teach like a champion" is for elementary school teachers. This book is not it. The author interviewed or surveyed many top college teachers, but rather than letting them tell us what they do that works, he makes it all dull by putting his own ideas over whatever it is that they do. There is no evidence in this book that Bain can teach, and his writing is incredibly soporific.

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, try a page or two of this book.
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on July 16, 2015
Dry and repetitive.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2012
This book came highly recommended by a fellow faculty and I bought it. I must admit I barely made it through the intro, but I pressed on. The intro consists of 3 repetitive sections: a short intro to the book, the same short intro slightly longer and then yes, you guessed it for a good measure the short intro yet expanded again.
The book makes vague references to what these perfect college teachers do and sometimes gives anecdotal evidence (teacher allowed students to choose book to be read for class). These anecdotes are way to specific to be useful and do not address the serious questions. How much choice is the right amount? How much responsibility does the teacher have for guiding? What if the students choose materials that minimize their exposure to critical areas? All this in a terrible repetitive (but I said that already) writing style. The book tells all these just so stories. And then there are the references to scientific studies. Unfortunately, those too are vague and unspecific. Overall I was asking myself whether the book was really informed by real life teaching challenges: students ill prepared for the demands of the class, faculty balancing too many responsibilities to give students the individual attention they need, the real struggles to know what students need to learn in a changing world and field. To me the content sounded like an academic treaties more than the advise I was hoping for.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2014
Very repetitive! Read something else
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15 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2009
I read this book in conjunction with a Ph.D. level class at The Ohio State University. I have 25 years of successful teaching experience which made this book extremely boring to read. If you are a young, inexperienced future collegiate educator you might glean some wisdom from this book, but I wouldn't count on it.
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