Author Archives: Clinton Golding

About Clinton Golding

Clinton Golding is Associate Professor at the University of Otago Higher Education Development Centre. His previous positions include Philosopher in Residence at Rangitoto College in Auckland, and Thinking Coordinator at Queen Margaret College in Wellington and St. Cuthbert’s College in Auckland, where he worked to develop the thinking of staff and students. He was also a senior lecturer at The University of Melbourne where he received 5 local and national teaching awards.

Higher Education research and development … as a movie

I work in Higher Education as a researcher and academic developer, and I also love movies. So, obviously, I began to wonder what kind of movie best represents my work. I originally wrote this for HERDSA News to share my … Continue reading

Posted in Higher education

Thirsty learners

They say you can lead your students to knowledge but you can’t make them drink. True, but misleading. You can also make your students want to drink by offering them a tantalising and intriguing fountain, and by giving them salty … Continue reading

Posted in Learning, Planning teaching, Students

Reinvigorating reading

I recently discovered that reading a good book about teaching revitalised me when I was tired. So now, rather than shelving my reading because I have other work to do, I sometimes pick up a book so I can build the energy … Continue reading

Posted in Book review, Higher education

Disobedient Teaching

Welby Ings (2017) Disobedient Teaching, Otago: University of Otago Press.   Welby Ings doesn’t tell you how to be a teacher, he shows you who you can be. Disobedient Teaching was profound not because of what Ings was saying but … Continue reading

Posted in Book review, Learning to teach

Big picture or detail? Where to start course planning?

Sometimes we organise our courses according to a hierarchy of learning outcomes, such as Blooms Taxonomy of Learning Objectives. We use the hierarchy to identify the level of outcome we want from our students: Do we want them to merely … Continue reading

Posted in Planning teaching

Let me be clear! How can I tell when I need to clarify my writing?

I taught a workshop for supervisors recently about assisting your students to write. I said that one reason why our students write badly is because they cannot tell whether their writing is good enough. When they read their own writing … Continue reading

Posted in Postgraduate education, Reflection and improvement, Writing

Framing your advice for thesis writers: What would your examiners think?

I stumbled across a useful trick for cultivating good writing for thesis students. If I frame my writing advice as ‘this will help you deal with your examiners’ then thesis students are more likely to act on the advice. My … Continue reading

Posted in Postgraduate education, Writing

Ah-ha! Reflective insights about teaching

We need to reflect about our teaching to improve, but how common is it for reflection to lead to ‘ah-ha!’ moments about our teaching? There seems to be an assumption that reflection should lead to profound, transformative insights. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach, Reflection and improvement

A better way to think about and discuss course planning

When we design courses or papers at a University we often start by deciding who is going to teach, what they going to teach, and the mode of teaching. For example, I might decide to teach topic x and y, … Continue reading

Posted in Planning teaching

Writing my teaching philosophy: abstract claims and concrete illustrations

Sometimes a teaching philosophy is too abstract: “I believe in a student-centred approach and I adopt this in all my teaching. I attempt to create a safe space so learners can blossom.” These can be important claims about you and … Continue reading

Posted in Evaluating Teaching, Learning to teach, Reflection and improvement, Teaching philosophy

Getting to know your students

In another blog I argued that we need to know our students if we are to teach well, because teaching is about who you know, not just what you know. But, every time we start a new course we have … Continue reading

Posted in Evaluating Teaching, Learning to teach, Students | 1 Comment

Refining my reflections

Here is an example of my reflective thought process from rough reflections to more and more clear, elaborated and insightful reflections. This process normally happens very quickly, but I have deliberately slowed it down to show you how I think … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach, Reflection and improvement, Teaching philosophy

Mentoring teachers

One of my roles is to mentor other teachers and enable them to improve and enhance their teaching. How do I mentor another teacher (the mentee)? When I reflected on this I realised I went through roughly ten steps. My … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach, Mentoring

How does learning happen?

At some stage in my life I learned to tie my own shoe laces and to write an essay; I learned the difference between an artery and a vein, and I learned how photosynthesis works; I learned to do algebra, … Continue reading

Posted in Learning

Learning to teach by reflecting on your teaching

How do we learn to teach? We begin as novices to teaching in the sense that we have not taught before. But even then, we are not total novices as we have all experienced being taught. From these experiences we … Continue reading

Posted in Learning, Learning to teach, Reflection and improvement

Teaching is about who you know (not just what you know)

If you don’t know who you are teaching, it’s easy to teach badly. You can misjudge what your students already know and so your explanations are too complex or too simplistic. You can employ methods of teaching that your students … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach, Students | 2 Comments