Increasing the Effectiveness of University/College Instruction: Integrating the Results of Learning Style Research into Course Design and Delivery
"It is a sad but indisputable fact that much of the teaching that goes on in our colleges and universities is of very poor quality. Indeed, virtually any college student can relate stories about the incredible tribulations he suffered at the hands of incompetent instructors" ( Cahn, 1978, p. ix). Yet, as the report entitled Faculty Development in a Time of Retrenchment points out, a curious thing about teaching is that, although it is the most central business in the university and college world, it is the least talked about. One rarely hears an intelligent discussion of it ( Group for Human Development in Higher Education, 1974). Cahn goes on to suggest that "the crisis in college teaching . . . results . . . from a failure to recognize the crucial principle that intellectual competence and pedagogical competence are two very different qualities. One cannot be an outstanding teacher without thorough knowledge of subject matter, but to possess that knowledge does not guarantee the ability to communicate it to a student" ( 1978, p. ix).
The lack of pedagogical training for faculty is well documented. In the past, the Ph.D., with its emphasis on specialized study in the discipline and its predominant orientation to research, was considered the necessary credential for teaching. Today, with an increasingly diverse student body and research that clearly identifies the elements of effective college teaching, a greater realization exists that faculty preparation should include other areas of knowledge as well ( Claxton & Murrell, 1987, p. 78).
Traditional doctoral programs, which form the core of the training of university faculty, do not concern themselves with teaching future faculty about the teaching and learning process. Theories of how people