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Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies for Promoting Success and Retention in Higher Education Paperback – October 15, 2008
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About the Author
Kathleen F. Gabriel is a professor at California State University, Chico. She was a high school social science teacher before she became a Resource Specialist for students with learning disabilities. Once she moved to the university setting, she developed an academic support program for at-risk and unprepared college students. She became a Faculty Development Specialist at the University of Arizona. She has also served as the Director of Disabled Student Services at a community college in Northern California.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is most appropriate for teaching assistants or new faculty teaching at a community college level or freshmen undergraduate classes. The strategies are straightforward and would be most beneficial to students at this level. Some of the specific strategies might seem a little outdated (for example, I don't know of many classrooms equipped with overhead projectors any more), but a savvy faculty member could be able to adapt the strategies to his/her discipline and resources.
The strategies seem overly simplistic for more advanced students, such as upperclass students in advanced classes or graduate/professional students. In this situation, there are other books aimed moer specifically teaching complex materials that would be more appropriate, such as Ambrose et al (2010) How Learning Works.
It's easy for instructors to become bewildered, too, when we encounter students in class who seem unprepared to do what we may see as basic tasks. It's all too easy for instructors to place blame (on high schools, admissions officers, or the students themselves) and feel that these students are beyond reach. Gabriel counters this scenario with concrete, specific ways to reach students by engaging them in class and making them responsible for their own learning. She shows how a few simple changes to an instructor's approach can make for big changes in students' performance.
Gabriel is committed to maintaining high expectations for all students; rather than lowering standards, she shows instructors how to help students meet high standards. She discusses the merits of learner-centered pedagogy, including the use of formative assessment and rubrics, rapport-building activities, and awareness of learning styles and strategies. I appreciated the author's references to research and the anecdotes she uses to illustrate her teaching philosophy and methods.
I was surprised that this book has no mention of students who have English as a second language, who are often "unprepared" in their own way. However, as Gabriel points out, the approaches she describes are generally beneficial to all students, which includes ESL students.Read more ›
I keep this book with me all the time. The chapters are stand-alone and lend themselves to short periods of free time, but reading (and rereading) it straight through is worthwhile. The appendices contain examples of some of the strategies, and the reference list is impressively comprehensive. Thanks, Dr. Gabriel, for your work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some nice tidbits to be gained. The rest is valid for professors who aren't quite ready to teach.Published 8 months ago by Kenneth L. Shelley
Fast read - packed with insights for the 21st century classroom instructor. I am a trainer specializing in experiential methodology focused on teambuilding and leadership... Read morePublished 21 months ago by D. Ashe
Although I've used many of these techniques, a few ideas were helpful and the book as a whole helps to maintain mindful awareness of how important it is to be thorough and to... Read morePublished on August 24, 2014 by Dochollywood
Great book! I highly recommend this book to anyone working with all groups of college students, not just instructors. Read morePublished on June 29, 2014 by Sara H.
I just read this through because of the new push (Common Core) and my need to engage my students in slightly different ways in order to get them to improve. Read morePublished on June 12, 2014 by William P. MacMonagle
So, not that much in this book is really new to me, but it was good to see it all put together in one handy place. Read morePublished on April 21, 2014 by A. A. Baldwin
Great resource. This is book for all introductory teachers. It has a lot of great ideas and great skills andPublished on October 25, 2013 by ObscureAllure