All genuine learning comes through experience.- John Dewey
...most introductory courses rely on transmission-of-information lectures and cookbook laboratory exercises - techniques that are not highly effective in fostering conceptual understanding or scientific reasoning. There is mounting evidence that supplementing or replacing lectures with active learning strategies and engaging students in discovery and scientific process improves learning and knowledge retention.
- Handelsman et al., 2004, "Scientific Teaching," Science.
Teaching, by nature, is an egocentric professionwe find it difficult to see when our teaching isnt clear or adequate. We dont easily imagine how what is so obvious and important to us cannot be equally so to novices.
Learning without thought is labor lost.What I hear, I forget.What I see, I remember.What I do, I understand.
- Chinese proverb
Teaching should be scholarly. Every instructor's teaching should reflect what is currently known about teaching and learning. There is a constantly growing body of research on teaching and learning. To ignore this in one's teaching is no more acceptable than ignoring the advances in the content areas we teach. Furthermore, every instructor should be able to articulate and provide evidence for why he or she teaches in a particular way. It should not be based on vague general impressions about what constitutes good or effective teaching.
- Donald P. French, Professor of Zoology, Oklahoma State University; President, Society for College Science Teachers
It must be more important to be skilled in thinking than to be stuffed with facts.E. de Bono, 1967The Five Day Course in Thinking
More often than not, educators play dominant roles because of the belief that they possess some body of knowledge and are responsible for bestowing it on students. Students are subordinated because what they think is not part of the process. They are automatically cast in the role of receivers, rather than constructors, of knowledge.Marcia Baxter MagoldaKnowing and Reasoning in College
Do we teach biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics or do we teach young people to cope with their own world?Gerard FourezSocial Studies of Science, 1997
One of the greatest misconceptions on the part of many students is their belief that a subject consists of large amounts of factual knowledge and, to become the expert, all one needs to do is to add this knowledge to ones existing store.H. Fry et al., 1999, Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his place so that you may understand . .. . . . . . . . . . . what he learns and the way he understands it.
If your method reaches only the attentive student, then you must either invent new methods or call yourself a failure.
Reynolds PriceFeasting of the Heart
Learning is not necessarily an outcome of teaching - Science for All Americans (AAAS, 1989)
My own frustrations as a teacher were greatly reduced years ago, when I accepted that my job was to teach the students who were sitting in my class, not those I wished were sitting there.Terry Doyle, Helping Students Learn in a Learner-Centered Environment
Its not that professors dont care about teaching, but that they dont know what theyre doing. Literally. The rich irony of professors ignoring solid academic research about teaching is momentarily amusing, but ultimately frustrating.Derek Bok, Past-President, Harvard University
the mastery of any particular body of scientific knowledge is an unwieldy and unsatisfactory educational goal. More promising is the concept of science education as promoting a way of thinking. D. Kuhn, 1993 Science Education
How students approach general education (and how the faculty actually deliver the curriculum) is far more important than the formal curricular content and structure- A.W. Astin, 1993What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited
A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep-- W.H. Auden.
learners construct understanding. They do not simply mirror and reflect what they are told or what they read. Learners look for meaning and will try to find regularity and order in the events of the world, even in the absence of full or complete information.E. von Glasserfield, 1984The Invented Reality: How Do We Know What We Believe We Know?
The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows.
D.B. Ausubel, 1978Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View
A colleges purpose is not to transfer knowledge but to create environments and experiences that bring students to discover and construct knowledge for themselves, to make students members of communities of learners that make discoveries and solve problems
R.B. Barr and J. Tagg, 1995From Teaching to LearningA New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education
Any educational efforts may be said to be UNSUCCESSFUL to the extent that student achievement is normallydistributed. Benjamin Bloom
I have been much struck by the paralysis of thought induced in pupils by the aimless accumulation of precise knowledge, inert and unutilizedThe details of knowledge which are important will be picked up ad hoc in each avocation of life, but the habit of active utilization of well understood principles is the final possession of wisdom.
A.N. Whitehead, 1929The Aims of Education and Other Essays
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain
The material of thinking is not thought, but actions, facts, events, and the relations of things. In other words, to think effectively one must have had, or now have, experiences which will furnish him resources for coping with the difficulty at hand.
John Dewey Democracy and Education, 1916
I will register here the skeptical view that the history of everything, once over lightly, does not teach the history of anything, nor what historical processes are.Rudolph WeingartnerUndergraduate Education
It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation,stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail - Albert Einstein
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation. --- Bill Wilson
It is the sole purpose of the university professor to induce people to think.
- J.B.S. Haldane, 1924, Daedalus
There is a risk that teaching might begin to look like an impossible task once we begin to recognize that we have to deal with students at different levels of intellectual development and with different behavioral characteristics, which affect both the way they learn and their attitude to learning The situation is as it is; the better we recognize and understand it, the better chance we have of teaching effectively.
P.D. Bailey and J. Garratt, 2002University Chemical Education
Teaching is the greatest act of optimism.
- Colleen Wilcox
Like the students who bring prior knowledge to our courses in the form of misconceptions about [our discipline], we as instructors must face up to the common pedagogical misconception that students will learn effectively only what we tell them in class. Like our students, we must allow ourselves to undergo conceptual change, based on evidence for the greater learning effectiveness of active engagement over passive listening in lectures.
Jennifer Knight and William Wood, University of Colorado, 2005, Cell Biology Education
Typically [public lectures are] like skiing a black-diamond run. It is easy, then slightly more difficult, and then it becomes so terrifyingly difficult that you are just glad to be done with it.
Timothy Ferris, science writer, Berkeley, CASan Francisco Chronicle, March 14, 2007
Teaching is a lifelong art, thatinvolves continuous learning not just for the student but for the teachers as well.
Joseph Katz and Mildred HenryTurning Professors into Teachers
Meaningful approaches to learning are discouraged when lecturers believe that their role is restricted to transferring the accumulated knowledge of their discipline to the minds of their students.
- D. Kember and L. Gow, Journal of Higher Education, 1994.
Good teachers, like reflective practitioners in other professions, constantly test, adjust, and reframe their models of practice on the basis of experience and reflection.
Theodore MarcheseNew Horizons for Learning, 2002
Teaching is like piloting a train: The instructor is the engineer leading a journey toward deeper understanding. Unfortunately, we often depart the station whether or not our passengers are on board. Our undergraduate students rarely volunteer for the journeys we plan, share little if any interest or background knowledge in the topic of our trip, and prefer many divergent routes toward understanding our destination.Jeffrey Weld
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
- B.F. Skinner
The studiesconsistently show that the college experience for most students comprises a loosely organized, unfocused curriculum, with undefined outcomes, classes that emphasize passive listening, lectures that transmit low-level information, and assessments of learning that frequently demand only the recall of memorized material or low-level comprehension of concepts. -L.F. Gardiner, 1998
One of the most harmful effects of lecturing is that the professor removes from students the joy of realizing solutions for themselves. It is through such discovery that lasting understanding is achieved.Thomas Lord, President Society of College Science Teachers
The message of scores of studies on student learning is unambiguous: Many studentscan reproduce large amounts of factual information on demandthey pass examinations successfully. But they are unable to show that they understand what they have learned. -P. Ramsden, 1988, Improving Learning: New Perspectives
In making choices about what to teach and how to assess it, clarity about the character of learning we intend for students must be an essential bedrock for what we do.Theodore Marchese
The more we make the achievement of a specific goal the ultimate reason for learning, the less likely we are to allow learners to enhance meaning as they proceed.
Raymond Wlodowski & Margery GinsbergDiversity and Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching
A lecture is a process by which the notes of the professor become the notes of the students without passing through the minds of either.
If college students are encouraged to learn only the facts and details and arent required to comprehend the information, theyre left with superficial, nonenduring knowledge. Understanding, not facts, is what education is all about. Its understanding thats left after youve forgotten all the details.
Thomas Lord, President Society of College Science Teachers
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on a cold iron.
The banking concept distinguishes two stages in the action of the educator. During the first, he cognizes a cognizable object while he prepares his lessons in his study or his laboratory; during the second, he expounds to his students about that object. The students are not called upon to know, but to memorize the contents narrated by the teacher. Nor do the students practice any act of cognition, since the object towards which the act would be directed is the property of the teacher.Paolo FreirePedagogy of the Oppressed
The most formidable enemy of competency is the drive toward coverage.
Rudolph WeingartnerUndergraduate Education
I'm sure the reason such young nitwits are produced in our schools is because they have no contact with anything of any use in everyday life. - Petronius, ~66 AD
To state a theorem and then to show examples of it is literally to teach backwards.
-E. Kim Nebeuts
What is taught is important but how it is taught makes the difference between a life long learner and grade grubber, between enthusiasm for learning and indifference to it, between and educated student and a credentialed one.
Patricia Cross, 1987The need for classroom research
Education is what happens to the other person, not what comes out of the mouth of the educator. - Miles Horton
Education is one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get.
-William Lowe Bryan
It dawned on me about two weeks into the first year that it was not teaching that was taking place in the classroom, but learning.
-Pop star Sting, reflecting uponhis early career as a teacher
When we come to know something, we have performed an act that is as biological as when we digest something.
- Henry Plotkin
Effective faculty members understand that students learn in very different ways.
- Higher Learning Commission, 2003, The Handbook of Accreditation
The lecturer pumps laboriously into sieves. The water may be wholesome, but it runs through. A mind must work to grow. - C.W. Eliot
There is very little attention given to the potential impact of thousands of small classroom reforms that might add up to real and substantive change - Patricia Cross
As you enter a classroom, ask yourself this question: If there were no students in the classroom, could I do what I am planning to do? If the answer to the question is yes, dont do it.
- General Ruben Cubero, Dean of the Faculty United States Air Force Academy