Posts Tagged ‘classroom climate’
I am unabashedly proud of my pedagogical article resource file. I’ve been collecting good articles on teaching and learning since the early ’80s. I use the file almost every day, and in the process of looking for a particular article, I regularly stumble onto others whose contents I remember when I see them but have otherwise forgotten.
For quite some time now I’ve been interested in a widely held set of assumptions faculty make about the need to assert control at the beginning of a course. The argument goes something like this: When a course starts, the teacher needs to set the rules and clearly establish who’s in charge. If the course goes well, meaning students abide by the rules and do not challenge the teacher’s authority, then the teacher can gradually ease up and be a bit looser about the rules. The rationale behind this approach rests on the assumption that if a teacher loses control of a class, it is very hard to regain the upper hand. In these cases, student behaviors have compromised the climate for learning so seriously that the teacher has an ethical responsibility to intervene and reassert control.
There’s no discounting the importance of the first day of class. What happens that day sets the tone for the rest of the course. Outlined below are a few novel activities for using that first day of class to emphasize the importance of learning and the responsibility students share for shaping the classroom environment.
November 11 - Getting Students to Ask for Help
I was on the first floor of a college library, needing to get to a teaching and learning center on the fifth floor and standing in front of two elevators, but for the life of me I couldn’t find the call button. There was the large panel with the instructions not to use the elevator in case of fire and various key holes for use in emergencies, but no button. I looked elsewhere, around the edges of both doors. Still no sign of a button.
October 12 - Seven Keys to Improving Teaching and Learning
Most students hate cumulative exams, largely because of the sheer volume of course material they need to study and demonstrate proficiency in. But there’s another reason, especially in courses where there are formulas or specific tools that need to be used, and it has to do with how well they truly understand the course material.
How Do I Create a Climate for Learning in My Classroom? Program includes a CD with the video presentation, plus supplemental materials, PowerPoint slides, and complete transcript • $99 We’ve all encountered “toxic” learning environments–apathetic students, disillusioned faculty, an entire roomful of people waiting for class to just end, already. But of course, that’s far
October 5 - Building Rapport with Your Students
Rapport, defined as “the ability to maintain harmonious relationships based on affinity” (a definition cited in the article referenced below), is more colloquially thought of as what happens when two people “click”—they connect, interact well, and respond to each other favorably.
July 8 - Let’s Take a Break
How about a regularly scheduled two-to three-minute break in the middle of class? John A. Olmsted III recommends it for the following reasons: 1) it provides a change of pace and lets students recharge tired brains; 2) it can be used to get students involved with the content; and 3) it can be designed to
June 17 - Classroom Climates
I did a workshop this week on climates for learning. It’s a session I love doing. Nobody argues with the need to have one in the classroom and everywhere else around campus. But most of us haven’t gotten past the metaphor (we aren’t talking about the “weather” in our classroom even though we do regularly refer to the “atmosphere” in class and the “environment” on campus). When we refer to the climate for learning what are we talking about?
In a perfect world, college students are always eager, well disciplined, and respectful. Of course, you don’t teach in a perfect world, you teach in the real world. This white paper looks at unacceptable student behaviors and classifies them into seven easy-to-recognize styles, along with recommended approaches suited to each type’s idiosyncrasies.