“Understanding Great Teaching” Article by Ken Bain and James Zimmerman

As you might recall, a few weeks ago I sent around a query to see if some of you would be interested in what I termed an “article club.” The gist was that I would find articles to read about teaching, and we would get together to talk about them. While a few people did respond indicating an interest, I completely understand how difficult it is to find the time to meet in person. In fact, we had a bit of a time finding a time to hold this meeting, which will be on Thursday, October 1 at 9:00 AM in the CFE. While many of you might not be able to come to that face to face meeting, perhaps leaving a comment or two here on the Blog can create a “virtual” discussion among our McDaniel community.

The article we’ll read first is from last spring’s edition of Peer Review, which is a publication by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The Spring 2009 volume was entitled: Good Teaching: What Is It and How Do We Measure It? Our first article is from that publication: “Understanding Great Teaching” by Ken Bain (vice provost for instruction, professor of history, and director, Research Academy for University Learning, Montclair State University) and James Zimmerman (associate professor of chemistry and associate director, Research Academy for University Learning, Montclair State University).

Read the article here and leave a comment. And/or come to the meeting in the CFE at 9 AM on Thursday, October 1. All are welcome.

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One Response to “Understanding Great Teaching” Article by Ken Bain and James Zimmerman

  1. Reanna Ursin says:

    Hi Gretchen,
    I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend the October 1 meeting, but I did enjoy the article. It seems clear that in order for course evaluations to be helpful to faculty (as well as the FAC), the questions posed should make it possible to distinguish deep learning and surface learning in terms of with what exactly students are satisfied or dissatisfied.

    But more importantly, I think the emphasis on posing thought-provoking questions that require students to draw upon or cultivate a particular set of methodological skills is absolutely relevant to the structure of the McDaniel Plan.

    I’ve been perplexed about how to reproduce some of what you’re doing in your Rome class (particularly in something like a Composition course), but the article’s focus on posing questions that matter to students is giving me some ideas.

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