Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tiny revolutions

I enjoyed the insights by Melissa Ballard in this article at Inside Higher Ed. Ballard reminds us that effective teaching rarely involves dramatic breakthroughs but is instead a matter of facilitating tiny changes in students' performance, habits, and outlook on life. An encouraging message, to my mind.

1 comment:

  1. I have nothing against these larger-scale "stand by me" pedagogical revolutions. However, to aim at creating them in the classroom is monstrously draining in terms of psychological energy. Not only that, I suspect that the burn out rate for instructors focused on this kind of effect is very high. Sometimes the desire for larger change can be very noble, some times it isn't. We have to learn to be happy with changes in students caused by our pedagogy that we may never even witness. Every once in a while, we may witness a 'transformation' in a student, and such a case may serve as a personal 'success' story for us, one that gives us motivation to go on. But in most cases, we should be satisfied with far less than this, because a change may be very important to a student and go unnoticed by us. If you happen to be an ego-motivated instructor (which I suppose we all are at times, or at least I know I am at times), this can be a difficult thing to do, though a worthy goal to attain.


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