- Hardcover: 207 pages
- Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (April 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674013255
- ISBN-13: 978-0674013254
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 141 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What the Best College Teachers Do 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Bains sound and scholarly yet exuberant promotion of Americas "best college teachers" abounds with jaunty anecdotes and inspiring opinions that make student-centered instruction look not only infectious, but downright imperative. Teachers may enjoy the books plummy examples from their peers interdisciplinary curriculasuch as the Harvard chemistry professor whose "lesson on polymers becomes the story of how the development of nylons influenced the outcome of World War II" or the U Penn art professor whose computer game allows students to determine the authenticity of a questionable Rembrandt. Bains most compelling arguments, however, concern the quirks and motivations of todays college students. Though he acknowledges nationwide trends toward grade inflation, he invokes a 1990 study that suggests students are most driven by "high demands" and prefer "plentiful opportunities to revise and improve their work before it receives a grade." Likewise, the book argues that, even in the cutthroat climate of todays competitive colleges, students thrive best in cooperative classrooms. The best teachers, Bain avers, understand and exceed such expectations, and use them to create "natural critical learning environments." Easy-to-follow headingssuch as "Start with the Students Rather Than the Discipline"help readers learn to create such environments, too. Inspiring though this slender book will be for college teachers at all levels, it may also delight the general reader with nostalgic reminders of their finest classroom experiences.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
With the strong conviction that good teaching can be learned, and after 15 years of observing teachers in action, Bain undertook an exploration of the essentials of effective teaching. The result is an insightful look at what makes a great teacher, based on a study of three dozen teachers from a cross section of disciplines from medical-school faculties to undergraduate departments. After interviewing students and colleagues, observing classrooms and laboratories, and examining course materials from syllabi to lecture notes, Bain concludes that the quality of teaching is measured not by whether students pass exams but whether they retain the material to such an extent that it influences their thoughts and actions. Bain focuses on what the best teachers know and understand about their subject matter as well as the learning process; how they prepare; what they expect of their students; how they treat students; and how they evaluate student progress. Although this book is aimed at teachers, it is a thoughtful and valuable resource for students and parents as well. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
In terms of criticism, two things come to mind.
First, the book seems to be an academic paper expanded to book form. As such, there is plenty of fluff. Some of the fluff is useful and adds embellishment to Bain's main points, but some of the fluff is just fluff.
Second, Bain's tone throughout the book is one of objective reporter. The tone is a perfect fit for the subject matter and helps the book feel like a discussion. I loved it. In the last few chapters, the tone switches abruptly to preaching. I did not like the preachy tone; it was a big turnoff to me.
Overall, I thought the book was useful and very well done. I recommend it to anyone (college profs, high school teacher, trainers, etc.) who ever tried to connect with students. The insights offered here will be useful to seasoned pros and rank amateurs. Very nice.
A good read as a refresher, and a good acknowledgement that you're doing the right things if you count your efforts in the committed and passionate category.
Most recent customer reviews
For example, I strongly disagree with the book's conclusion that late work should be...Read more