Do I Need to Know This Stuff? 🙁
No, you don’t need to be expert in the field of educational psychology to be a good instructor, not that it wouldn’t help mind you. As I stated on my “About” page, there are dozens, maybe hundreds, of books out there that provide helpful insight into good pedagogy. Therein lays the problem. What the heck does pedagogy mean? Even if an adjunct had time to identify and read the helpful literature, he/she might get bored to death with the onslaught of “academese.” My goal is to provide practical, down-to-earth, user-friendly advice to instructors. In the words of Joe Friday, I will provide the facts, just the facts. Why? Because it is really important to know something about how your students learn and how to design your lesson plan. That’s right, lesson plan. You know the saying, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.”
My guess is that many (most? all?) of my readers have some knowledge in this area. Much of what I will share is intuitive. However, intuition doesn’t always carry over into the classroom. To compound the problem (I mean opportunity) most new instructors teach the way they were taught. Sometimes their instructors weren’t, how can I put this tactfully, good role models.
How does one apply modern day learning theory to instruction? What does VAK stand for, and what does it have to do with how an instructor teaches? Including an appropriate group activity in your astronomy class makes sense, but how would one go about doing this? These are some of the topics I plan to discuss. Hopefully, in this category I will be able to add some value for everyone from time to time.
© 2010 Paul A. Hummel, Ed.D.