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The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

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Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future | Joe Ruhl | TEDxLafayette


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The scholarship of teaching involves planning, assessing, and modifying one's teaching and applying to it the same exacting standards of evaluation that are used in research. According to Boyer, "Excellence in the classroom is all too often undervalued." 

Suggested Reading

The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors
By Peter Filene

Gathering concepts and techniques borrowed from outstanding college professors, The Joy of Teaching provides helpful guidance for new instructors developing and teaching their first college courses.  Rather than prescribe any single model for success, Filene lays out the advantages and disadvantages of various pedagogical strategies, inviting new teachers to make choices based on their own personalities, values, and goals. Filene tackles everything from syllabus writing and lecture planning to class discussions, grading, and teacher-student interactions outside the classroom. The book’s down-to-earth, accessible style makes it appropriate for new teachers in all fields. Instructors in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences will all welcome its invaluable tips for successful teaching and learning.

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition (2000, PDF)

First released in the Spring of 1999, How People Learn has been expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior. This edition includes far-reaching suggestions for research that could increase the impact that classroom teaching has on actual learning.

Like the original edition, this book offers exciting new research about the mind and the brain that provides answers to a number of compelling questions. When do infants begin to learn? How do experts learn and how is this different from non-experts? What can teachers and schools do-with curricula, classroom settings, and teaching methods--to help children learn most effectively? New evidence from many branches of science has significantly added to our understanding of what it means to know, from the neural processes that occur during learning to the influence of culture on what people see and absorb.

How People Learn examines these findings and their implications for what we teach, how we teach it, and how we assess what our children learn. The book uses exemplary teaching to illustrate how approaches based on what we now know result in in-depth learning. This new knowledge calls into question concepts and practices firmly entrenched in our current education system.

Scaling Solutions to Higher Education’s Biggest Challenges: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief (2016, PDF)

This publication, Scaling Solutions to Higher Education’s Biggest Challenges, aims to identify the challenges obstructing student success and provide exemplars that, if adequately cultivated, can support the widespread adoption of real solutions. By better defining the challenges impeding innovation in US postsecondary education and illuminating high-quality programs and initiatives, it is the NMC’s hope that this report will catalyze critical discussions, projects, and products that bolster student success, making high-quality learning opportunities more accessible to all. The challenges addressed in this publication, summarized in the infographic that follows, can be categorized as largely relating to faculty needs, institutional culture, and technology-enabled practices and programs — all with an eye toward students as the ultimate beneficiaries of the potential solutions. This publication was made possible through the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Learning Classroom

The Learning Classroom: Theory Into Practice is a college course developed for students preparing to be teachers, as well as in-service K-12 classroom teachers and other educators. The course focuses on four essential questions:

  • How do people learn and develop?
  • How can my teaching and classroom environment support learning for understanding?
  • How can learning theory inform my teaching practice?
  • How can interactions among the learner, the classroom environment, and the teaching/learning process produce motivation to learn and build strong learning communities?