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What are recommended teaching strategies?


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2006-07-20 15:46:51
2006-07-20 15:46:51

Thank you for asking. As a long-time student myself, I have lots of opinions on what I like in a teacher. (1) Be clear and organized. Tell me what you are going to cover, cover it, then summarize the highlights of what you just covered and how it inter-relates with the other topics you are covering. A lot of the time a new subject is a disorganized stream-of-consciousness from the teacher and the students are left trying to figure out what it was the teacher thought they were saying. A handout at the beginning of the year with what you will be covering each week is great. This holds true for younger students, too. E.g. when my daughter was in early elementary school, they did a math project where they had to count the kids in the class who had brown eyes vs. blue eyes vs. green eyes and develop a bar-chart with brown, blue, and green lines the length of which represented the number of students with eyes of said colour. Total waste of time, because the teacher never said what the *point* of the exercise was. My kid just thought it was a colouring exercise and was worried about which shade of colour to use to match people's eyes. Whole lesson wasted because the teacher wasn't clear on "what is this useful for." (2) I'm partial to practical examples myself. "Show me where this is useful." The best teachers I had were ones who had in their lives other careers than just teaching, and therefore could bring lots of real-world examples into class. (3) Handouts will full solutions to problems are good too---then you can work out the question yourself, compare it to the worked example and see *exactly* where you are going wrong. Can't have too many of these, in my opinion. Hence the popularity of the "Schaum's" series. (4) One thing I disliked intensely was group projects. At best, you only get to learn about the part of it that you were assigned whilst the rest remains a bit of a mystery. At worst, you are stuck with a bunch of bottom-feeding knuckle-draggers who pull your mark down through no fault of your own. Been through both: it is an inferior learning experience even at the best of times. (5) Actually use the textbook you picked out. Nothing is more frustrating than to shell out $150 for a text that never gets used.


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