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Teaching Methods

Cold-Calling in Class

By Mitchell Handelsman, Psychology Today, 11/26/13  Should teachers call on students who don’t volunteer? Should, or when should, teachers engage in “cold calling”—calling on students in class when the students have not volunteered?…It’s hard for me to have (or understand) blanket policies (“I never call on students if they haven’t raised their hands,” or, “I always […]
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Gestures Aid Learning

“The Secret Code of Learning,” by Annie Murphy Paul, Time Magazine, 11/9/11 Frederic Mishkin, who’s been a professor at Columbia Business School for almost 30 years, is good at solving problems and expressing ideas. Whether he’s standing in front of a lecture hall or engaged in a casual conversation,…his hands [are] waving, pointing, jabbing the […]
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Combine Lecture with Active Learning

By Aleszu Bajak, from the journal Science, 5/12/14 Are your lectures droning on? Change lectures up every 10 minutes with more active teaching techniques and more students will succeed, researchers say. A new study finds that undergraduate students in classes with traditional stand-and-deliver lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes that […]
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4 Questions to Promote Discussion

By Rebecca Alber, Edutopia website, 10/31/13 For inquiry to be alive and well in a classroom, the teacher needs to be expert at asking strategic questions–not only well-designed ones, but ones that will also lead students to questions of their own. Asking straightforward, simply-worded questions can be just as effective as intricate ones. With that […]
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8 Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say, & Do

By Larry Ferlazzo, Educational Leadership, October 2012 What Skilled Teachers Can Think 1. Authoritative beats authoritarian. Being authoritarian means wielding power unilaterally to control someone, demanding obedience without any explanation for why one’s orders are important. Being authoritative, on the other hand, means demonstrating control, but doing so relationally through listening and explaining…. Do you want […]
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For Better Grades, Try Bach in the Background

by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard Magazine, 1/2/12  Research: Students learned more when a videotaped lecture was underscored with classical music. As every teacher knows, it is one thing to impart information; it’s quite another for students to process it. New research suggests educators can help this to occur by turning to some old friends: Beethoven, […]
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4 Ways to Get–and Keep–Students’ Attention

by Annie Murphy Paul, Time Magazine, 7/25/12 A professor of physics education at Kennesaw State University in Georgia reported the results of a pilot study using special glasses that track where and how long wearers direct their gaze. After analyzing the data produced by undergraduates who wore the glasses during lectures, Professor David Rosengrant concluded that it […]
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The Dumbest Assignment Ever?

commentary by Karin Klein, Los Angeles Times, 7/17/14 Bad sources, poor instruction lead dozens of students to conclude there probably wasn’t a Holocaust. This past April, the Rialto (CA) school district asked eighth-grade students to read a few sources on the Holocaust and write about whether it really happened…. As it turns out, several dozen of them […]
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Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results

by Joanne Lipman, from The Wall Street Journal, 9/27/13 I had a teacher once who called his students “idiots” when they screwed up. He was our orchestra conductor, a fierce Ukrainian immigrant named Jerry Kupchynsky, and when someone played out of tune, he would stop the entire group to yell, “Who eez deaf in first violins!?” […]
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Argument is the Essence of Thought

by Mike Schmoker & Gerald Graff; from Education Week If we want students to succeed in postsecondary studies and careers, an ancient, accessible concept needs to be restored to its rightful place at the center of schooling: argument. In its various forms, it includes the ability to analyze and assess facts and evidence, support solutions, and […]
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