ERIC Number: EJ948964
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Reference Count: 2
How I Came to Understand that My Students Would Need Training Wings in Order to Learn to Fly
Corrigan, Paul T.
College Teaching, v59 n4 p127-128 2011
The author began his first year teaching at an open-enrollment university with the belief that "most students can learn to do intellectual work, if they are only given the opportunity." This belief is inspired by the research on teaching and learning and is rooted in the characteristic idealism of teachers. He had seen the principle borne out in his own experience. As a student, he had always learned best when he took learning into his own hands and ran with it, and he had seen the same thing while teaching during graduate school when three of his students won a writing contest and published their work. In this article, the author describes a teaching strategy that led him to a rude awakening and a new "training wings" approach that is working much better. The author came to understand what his students would need in order to learn only after reflecting on his teaching, reading good books, and talking things over with colleagues. But many teachers get derailed somewhere between believing that students have incredible learning potential and learning how to lead them step by step toward that potential. The author concludes that what teachers need in higher education is more dialogue, reading, and reflection on teaching, and more teaching community.
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, Teaching Experience, Learner Engagement, Aptitude Treatment Interaction, Educational Strategies, Educational Practices, Reflective Teaching, Transformative Learning, Instructional Innovation, Achievement Need
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A