ERIC Number: EJ920858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 2
Commentary: When Innovation Detracts from Good Teaching
Parslow, Graham R.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v39 n2 p168-169 Mar-Apr 2011
The catalyst for this commentary was a local newspaper article challengingly titled "If you don't click you don't pass at many US Universities," derived from an article in the New York Times. This caused the author to bring together some misgivings about the way university teaching is moving. "Moving" was a deliberate choice of word here, rather than "evolving," because some of the trends look more like regress than progress. Seemingly commendable innovations can have a dark side. The author has been the beneficiary of a number of teaching awards and they have been immensely gratifying and useful in his career. Nevertheless, the author remains mindful of the stance taken by Professor John Anwyl who, as head of his University Teaching Unit, was staunchly opposed to the introduction of teaching awards at their university. His argument was that as soon as awards are given they become a tool for promotion and people will do whatever it takes to gain an award and those actions may have little to do with good teaching. As Anwyl had foreseen, the need to produce a body of published work about innovative approaches to get awards and promotion is now acting against proven mainstream teaching (lectures and tutorials).
Descriptors: Instructional Innovation, College Instruction, Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A