Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another Book on New Teaching Approaches

James Lang, Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons From the Science of Learning (2016).
"Cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, and biologists all have produced a revealing body of research over the past several decades on how human beings learn, but often translating these findings into the classroom is overwhelming for busy instructors. Small Teaching bridges the gap between research and practice by providing a fully developed strategy for making deliberate, structured, and incremental steps towards tuning into how your students are hardwired to learn.

Developed by a global authority on teaching and learning, the practice of "small teaching" enables every type of educator in all disciplines to energize and boost student understanding by introducing small activities that require minimal preparation and grading. The models inside are specifically designed to be used as both one-time experiences to innovate a course session or unit plan as well as a menu of options that can be combined into an entirely new teaching approach. Each chapter gives examples of how a particular learning phenomenon appears in everyday life, supporting research and findings, up to five small-teaching models, guidance for customizing your own models, and quick-reference features when you need inspiration fifteen minutes before class. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students that let you:

  • Capture or recapture the students' attention, provide quick opportunities for student engagement, and introduce or wrap up new learning
  • Deepen student understanding of material and expand their ability to analyze and improve their own learning
  • Give students the tools, techniques, and principles to effectively practice a range of cognitive skills

Small Teaching gives you all the know-how and how-to for making big improvements to your learning environment."

(Scott Fruehwald) (hat tip: Renee Allen)

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