The Art and Craft of College Teaching: A Guide for New Professors and Graduate Students

By Rader, Eric W. | Community College Enterprise, Fall 2005 | Go to article overview

The Art and Craft of College Teaching: A Guide for New Professors and Graduate Students


Rader, Eric W., Community College Enterprise


The Art and Craft of College Teaching: A Guide for New Professors and Graduate Students Chicago:Active Leoming Book, ©2005.328 pages. ISBN 0976589508 24.95^sup USD^.

In The Art and Craft of College Teaching: A Guide for New Pro/essors and Graduate Students, Robert Rotenbcrg sets out to provide both theoretical and practical guidance to new college professors and graduate students as they begin their careers. Rotcnberg's book is based on several decades of his own research and teaching at the college level. He offers careful insights into the opportunities and challenges of college teaching. Rotcnbcrg observes that personnel committees evaluate a professor's scholarship, teaching, and service separately, but believes that they arc all integral parts of the overall work of a professor. Hc thoroughly and methodically outlines his prescription for creating the best learning environment for college students, while also highlighting the technical details of teaching such as constructing syllabi, selecting texts, and assessing and grading students' work.

Rotcnbcrg devotes much of his book to the nature of the student-centered classroom. The traditional classroom has been teacher-centered, focusing on the transmission of knowledge from the instructor to the student. A student-centered classroom is one "in which the student's view of the world is transformed in a way that leads the student to continue learning on their own" (pp. 3-4). The idea that the student should he the focus of learning is a thread that runs throughout the author's discussion of various topics. It is most evident in his outline of different classroom formats. In a series of chapters, Rotenbcrg thoroughly describes the formats, including the traditional lecture classroom, discussion classroom, seminar classroom, and laboratory classroom. He effectively details the positive and negative attributes of each and suggests which formats work best depending on the academic preparation and size of the student population in the class. Rotenberg regards the lecture format as more suitable for large introductory courses, while the other formats are suited to smaller classes, ones that offer greater opportunity to students for collaboration and interaction in their learning.

Rotenberg is most effective in setting out the theoretical and practical implications of a studentcentered learning environment. He examines research on the different learning styles of college students, providing support for his belief that students should be active participants in the classroom. …

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