- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 7, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118944496
- ISBN-13: 978-1118944493
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
Cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, and biologists all have produced a revealing body of research over the past several decades on how human beings learn, but often translating these findings into the classroom is overwhelming for busy instructors. Small Teaching bridges the gap between research and practice by providing a fully developed strategy for making deliberate, structured, and incremental steps towards tuning into how your students are hardwired to learn.
Developed by a global authority on teaching and learning, the practice of "small teaching" enables every type of educator in all disciplines to energize and boost student understanding by introducing small activities that require minimal preparation and grading. The models inside are specifically designed to be used as both one-time experiences to innovate a course session or unit plan as well as a menu of options that can be combined into an entirely new teaching approach. Each chapter gives examples of how a particular learning phenomenon appears in everyday life, supporting research and findings, up to five small-teaching models, guidance for customizing your own models, and quick-reference features when you need inspiration fifteen minutes before class. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students that let you:
- Capture or recapture the students' attention, provide quick opportunities for student engagement, and introduce or wrap up new learning
- Deepen student understanding of material and expand their ability to analyze and improve their own learning
- Give students the tools, techniques, and principles to effectively practice a range of cognitive skills
Small Teaching gives you all the know-how and how-to for making big improvements to your learning environment.
From the Back Cover
Praise for small TEACHING
"The deft way that Lang positions his learning recommendations as 'micro' changes will make this book catch on like wildfire in higher education."
Victoria Mondelli, executive director, Teaching Excellence & Engaged Learning, Mercy College
"Small Teaching is packed with ideas that will have you highlighting like mad. But this is no mere collection of tipsinstead, it's a powerful, coherent framework aligned to the realities of teaching in higher education today."
Michelle Miller, director, First Year Learning Initiative, University College, and professor, Northern Arizona University
"Lang's book offers what so many faculty members want and need: small-scale changes that can enhance their teaching and their students' learningnot just 'someday' but Monday."
Marsha C. Lovett, director, Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University
"In Small Teaching, Lang shows us that sometimes less really is moreless disruptive and more appealing, less complicated and more doable, less busy-work and more student learning. Be ready to underline, add comments, attach sticky-notes, and share your copy. In fact, buy two because your first copy will forever be on loan to colleagues ready for easy-to-adopt ideas that offer real results."
Susan M. Zvacek, associate provost for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning, University of Denver
"Lang's 'must-read' new book Small Teaching presents a vital array of brief classroom activities, course interventions, and course design modifications that can enhance student learning, any of which can be employed at any time during the semester. Supported by thorough research and an engaging narrative style, this book can be mined by faculty across the disciplines on any campus that prizes student learning."
Jeffery Galle, director, Center for Academic Excellence, Oxford College of Emory University
"The notion that amazing teaching can come as a result of making small, research-based changes seems simple, but it has the potential to empower many in higher education. James Lang has done us all a great service by providing strategies that allow us to be more efficient and effective in the classroom without overhauling our entire approach to teaching."
Joshua R. Eyler, director, Center for Teaching Excellence, and adjunct associate professor of humanities, Rice University
"James Lang's Small Teaching manages to distill volumes of educational research into practical strategies that can be put to use immediately, without having to remake your whole course. I expect I'll be seeing well-thumbed copies on professors' bookshelves for years to come."
David Gooblar, pedagogy columnist for Chronicle Vitae, and founder of PedagogyUnbound.com
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There are lots of tips here about little things one can do at the beginnings and ends of classes, or things hat one encourage (or require) students to do between classes, in order to take advantage of the way the brain learns. (I'm inclined to think that these things are more about the way the mind works than about physiological processes in the brain, but I won't quibble.) My book is in my office and I'm not, or I might be tempted to list some of them and STILL encourage you to buy the book to get the bigger picture. The point is that these are *little* things--hence "small teaching"--that can make a big difference. I haven't had enough time yet to see how things go after the bloom of a new semester is off the rose. If I have anything to add when we get to the dread midpoint of the term, I'll let you know.
I'm currently using it as a required reading in a new faculty orientation seminar. Despite having taught for over twenty years and either used or attempted a number of the activities in this book over those years, I now realize having read Lang's connection of activity to the ed research background why they worked, or how I missed the mark with them. Several will return to my course plan in better form next semester.
In particular, interweaving, retrieval, predictions, using emotions, and thinking about possible “big teaching” innovations down the line were useful topics.
Highly recommend to newer teachers looking for simple tweaks to improve their practice.