Historically we have constructed our classrooms with the assumption that learning is a dry, staid affair best conducted in quiet tones and ruled by an unemotional consideration of the facts. The field of education, however, is beginning to awaken to the potential power of emotions to fuel learning, informed by contributions from psychology and neuroscience. In friendly, readable prose, Sarah Rose Cavanagh argues that if you as an educator want to capture your students'attention, harness their working memory, bolster their long-term retention, and enhance their motivation, you should consider the emotional impact of your teaching style and course design.
Transforming a large lecture class into a more personal, engaging experience doesn’t have to involve high-tech gadgets and a team of production assistants. Plenty of other strategies work. Here are a few of the approaches that have gained traction.
Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script: give students video lectures to watch at home, and do “homework” in the classroom with the teacher available to help.
How can we get better in our teaching?” It is a question that perpetually challenges us. One powerful option is to learn from the outstanding teachers around us: What do they do that makes them so effective? Can we learn from them to become better teachers?
James Zull invites teachers in higher education or any other setting to accompany him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and to discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. He describes the brain in clear non-technical language and an engaging conversational tone, highlighting its functions and parts and how they interact, and always relating them to the real world of the classroom and his own evolution as a teacher.