Learning to Teach in Higher Education

Learning to Teach in Higher Education

Learning to Teach in Higher Education

Learning to Teach in Higher Education


The classic text has a simple message: to become a good teacher, first you must understand your students' experiences of learning. Out of this grow a set of principles for effective teaching in higher education. This fully revised and updated new edition reflects a changed higher education environment, addressing issues of quality, standards and professional development in today's universities. The book includes new research findings and suggestions for further reading, while case studies of exemplary teaching connect ideas to practice.


The general theme of this book, illustrated in each of its chapters, is that the clear definition of problems in education is more important than the provision of solutions. Many books on teaching and learning in higher education tend to the opposite view: there is a prevailing impression that the busy lecturer or head of department has no time to acquire an understanding of the subject of education. ‘Don’t give me theory: just give me something that works’ is a plea that there is every temptation to answer.

This plea is part of a certain way of looking at teaching, and it is approximately the reverse of the truth about how to improve it. No university chemist or historian would apply it to their own discipline. No physician or architect would apply it to their own practice. No progress in any subject, including education, can be made without the reflective application of knowledge to the right problems.

This book aims to help lecturers change their understanding of teaching. The purpose of education in teaching is the self-development of the teacher. No one but a fool or a charlatan may presume to tell lecturers the right answer to the question of how to teach students better. There are no right answers: there are only methods that may work better or worse for each individual teacher, each department, and each group of students. The idea of this book is to help readers to find their own answers through reason and judgement.

The book is addressed chiefly to practising teachers of undergraduate students in systems of higher education based on the United Kingdom model. It has been written at a period when these teachers are under pressure to demonstrate their . . .

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