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Learning to Teach: Alternatives to Trial by Fire

Abstract

"The traditional presumption in higher education that subject-matter knowledge is sufficient for effective teaching is breaking down. One cause of this change is the growing knowledge about how people learn, a consequence of which is a heightened focus on student-centered teaching practices. Another is the increasing diversity of students seeking college degrees, who differ by age, background, expectations, and learning styles. At the same time, emerging educational technologies provide a bewildering array of new possibilities for teaching, some of which reinforce rote learning while others engage students in refining their understanding and constructing knowledge. In the face of all of these challenges, faculty need to be able to draw on various teaching strategies rather than relying exclusively on lectures and traditional laboratory exercises."

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