What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.
The short answer is—it’s not what teachers do, it’s what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out—but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.
In stories both humorous and touching, Ken Bain describes examples of ingenuity and compassion, of students’ discoveries of new ideas and the depth of their own potential. What the Best College Teachers Do is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration for first-year teachers and seasoned educators.
Ken Bain is President of the Best Teachers Institute and a former professor of history at Northwestern, Vanderbilt, the University of Texas, and New York University.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Defining the Best
2. What Do They Know about How We Learn?
3. How Do They Prepare to Teach?
4. What Do They Expect of Their Students?
5. How Do They Conduct Class?
6. How Do They Treat Their Students?
7. How Do They Evaluate Their Students and Themselves?
Epilogue: What Can We Learn from Them?
Appendix: How the Study Was Conducted
What People are Saying About This
Reading this book is a joy. Ken Bain has conducted years of careful research on a variety of campuses, and the result is an inspirational summary of what teachers do that truly makes a difference in students' lives, and what any teacher can do to improve. As a teacher myself, I found I couldn't put this book down.
Reading this book is a joy. Ken Bain has conducted years of careful research on a variety of campuses, and the result is an inspirational summary of what teachers do that truly makes a difference in students' lives, and what any teacher can do to improve. As a teacher myself, I found I couldn't put this book down. Richard Light, author of Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds