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Severian

What makes a good teacher?

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However, sometimes it's necessary to introduce a totally new concept. That's why I like analogies so much: even a totally new concept can be likened to something familiar.

 

Mokele

 

They help for understanding complex topics, but analogies can sometimes make simple topics more complex. It can back-fire from time to time. They seem to work very well in the hard sciences, but they seem to fail when it comes to the liberal arts. I assume this is correlated to spatial reasoning within people.

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I always figured it would be a good idea to start the year off by introducing a problem (currently impossible for the students to solve) that incorporates as many of the topics of the class as possible. Then as you start building up knowledge and concepts in the class, the application of them should start to become apparent in this big problem. It ties everything together at the end and shows some application. I'm sure it's not possible to find a nice problem like this for every course, but for many it should be.

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I think he mainly meant don't rely on the textbook as the main form of teaching the subject. most textbooks I've ever read are dry and boring and do nothing to make the subject interesting to the reader if it wasn't previously. IMO that makes it hard for the student to muster up enough interest to take the subject seriously sometimes if thats the only source of information theyre getting.

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Hello

 

Having instructed a bit, two main points i'd include are.

1) Find a good textbook, preferrably one that doesn't just lay out a broad swathe of information on the subject. But concentrates more on specific ideas you think are most important to what your trying to get across in your lectures.

A book that tries to inform as it were and not just pass along information.

 

Have discovered for some students that they learn more from being off by themselves studing a good book, then they do in lecture. With a book you, as they say, you learn at your own pace; when and where your have time.

 

Be prepared to look at many books though just to find the right one.

 

2) Try to ingage your students. Your clicker is a good idea, but try to structure your lecture so you can actually call upon students to discuss questions.

 

Not just answer a question, but force them to think for themself. Example: say your discussing about particle contamination, instead of asking a question of what is the effect of dust particles upon magnetic recording surfaces.

 

Instead start with a general question to the class like 'what type of particles might be in the surrounding enviorment.' Hands will shootup pick a few people to give a few answers. Then futher the discussion by asking what effects these particles might have on say magnetic recording disk. Then what about this type of media or that, or what effect does differnet size or composition of the particles might have.

 

At this point pick out students who might not normally volunteer to answer, but be prepared to lead them along to get out an answer if need be.

 

We all remember how much we hated being called on, but find in reality most people want to answer. It helps to develope a repore with your students, and makes them feel they are participating in their own education.

 

For you as an instructor it helps give feed back on not only how well your lecture is getting across. But also informs you as to the thought processes and comprehension abilities of your students.

 

 

Mr D

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I'm a science teacher at a high school, and so I have a different gauge by which I judge teachers. I think a good science teacher is not one that conveys the most information, but conveys the process of science effectively. It is extremely important for students to understand the scientific method and why it has been so helpful throughout history. The ultimate goal of a teacher, in my opinion, is not to create biologists, chemists, physicists, or any other type of scientist. Their goal should be to help students be able to make intelligent decisions in every aspect of their lives and to encourage students to ask questions.

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Basic for an effective teacher (in whichever subject) I think is the ability to connect with his/her students. The teacher must be flexible and adept at determining what strategy works best for his/her students and work from there in order to relay knowledge or properly instruct and achieve the course objectives.

 

An effective teacher must have flexibility. Having a background on psychology or the behavioral sciences will probably help aside from being a "people person".

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