Category Archives: Learning to teach

Different kinds of teacher knowledge

One way to understand what is required for good teaching is to analyse the different kinds of knowledge a teacher needs. This analysis then allows a teacher to identify the areas where they are strong and the areas in which … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach

Teaching failures, blunders and catastrophes: learning from our mistakes

I recently organised a panel session on teaching failures. Three teaching award winners—Roslyn Kemp, Anthony Robins and Clinton Golding—shared some major failures in their teaching with a group of c.25 academics, and then we discussed what we might learn from … Continue reading

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

Engaging teaching

Why am I interested in learning about some things (movie history) but I couldn’t care less about other things (motorcycle engines)? If we can crack the secret of intellectual curiosity we can make our teaching engaging for any student.

Posted in Learning, Learning to teach, Uncategorized

Promising leads for improving teaching

There are many ways to improve teaching, but in my experience when enhancing my own teaching or mentoring other teachers, there are three paths that are most likely to lead to improvement. 1. Covering too much We commonly try to … Continue reading

Posted in Learning to teach, Mentoring, Students | 1 Comment

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

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

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

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