ISBN-10:
0674066170
ISBN-13:
9780674066175
Pub. Date:
10/22/2012
Publisher:
Harvard
Teaching What You Don't Know

Teaching What You Don't Know

by Therese Huston
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Overview

Your graduate work was on bacterial evolution, but now you're lecturing to 200 freshmen on primate social life. You've taught Kant for twenty years, but now you're team-teaching a new course on “Ethics and the Internet.” The personality theorist retired and wasn't replaced, so now you, the neuroscientist, have to teach the "Sexual Identity" course. Everyone in academia knows it and no one likes to admit it: faculty often have to teach courses in areas they don't know very well. The challenges are even greater when students don't share your cultural background, lifestyle, or assumptions about how to behave in a classroom.

In this practical and funny book, an experienced teaching consultant offers many creative strategies for dealing with typical problems. How can you prepare most efficiently for a new course in a new area? How do you look credible? And what do you do when you don't have a clue how to answer a question?

Encouraging faculty to think of themselves as learners rather than as experts, Therese Huston points out that authority in the classroom doesn't come only, or even mostly, from perfect knowledge. She offers tips for introducing new topics in a lively style, for gauging students' understanding, for reaching unresponsive students, for maintaining discussions when they seem to stop dead, and -yes- for dealing with those impossible questions.

Original, useful, and hopeful, this book reminds you that teaching what you don't know, to students whom you may not understand, is not just a job. It's an adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674066175
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/22/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 470,695
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Therese Huston is Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Seattle University.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  1. The Growing Challenge
  2. Why It's Better Than It Seems
  3. Getting Ready
  4. Teaching and Surviving
  5. Thinking in Class
  6. Teaching Students You Don't Understand
  7. Getting Better
  8. Advice for Administrators

  • Appendixes
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

"This is one of the best books I've read on university teaching and learning in a long time. It addresses an issue that's seldom discussed, in a book that's both carefully researched and wonderfully sparkling in style. The author makes a strong case that teaching outside your area of expertise is a serious and extensive problem, and she offers some highly practical advice about how to meet the challenges. I would make this book a standard text for both our new faculty program and teaching fellows program, and I suspect that many other programs will want to do the same."

Ken Bain

This is one of the best books I've read on university teaching and learning in a long time. It addresses an issue that's seldom discussed, in a book that's both carefully researched and wonderfully sparkling in style. The author makes a strong case that teaching outside your area of expertise is a serious and extensive problem, and she offers some highly practical advice about how to meet the challenges. I would make this book a standard text for both our new faculty program and teaching fellows program, and I suspect that many other programs will want to do the same.
Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Teachers Do

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