Expert, practical teaching advice.
279 pages, ★★★★
One of my lecturers at Monash University confessed to having an “academic crush” on this author when she started her teaching career. I can see why: Brookfield’s advice is useful, comprehensive and easy to read. It’s neither overly theoretical, nor weighed down by excessive branding (like the UbD and Whole Brain Teaching initiatives). I see this book by Stephen Brookfield as a one-man supplement to the PEEL teaching handbooks.
I’ve summarised some of the book’s highlights below.
First, bad classes are not your fault. Don’t take bad classes to heart.
Second, over-intervention and over-encouragement can cause negative effects: anxiety, patronisation, distrust and dependence. This begs the question: how should teachers occupy themselves when they’re at the sidelines in the classroom?
Third, I love this passage on page 90. Take a look at the images below.
Fourth, the book makes “critical incident questionnaire” (CIQ) a key selling point. The letters ‘CIQ’ are present on almost every double-page. CIQ forms train students to become reflective learners and provide teachers with up-to-date feedback about which ideas/concepts were taught clearly and which ideas/concepts were not. The author is a major supporter of quick CIQ forms in all classes.
Fifth, write helpful comments, whether they’re critical or supportive. Written comments should be clear, immediate, regular, accessible, individualised, affirming, future-oriented, justifiable and educative.
Sixth, don’t succumb to “conversional obsession” (the act of trying to convert impossibly stubborn students).
Seventh, manage your email trail. Which conversations might require a written record? Which conversations are best kept unwritten?
Finally, he ends with a joke. The last of 15 pieces of advice in the final chapter is written as follows: “Maxim 15: Don’t Trust What You’ve Just Read”.
Of course, everyone’s reading will be different. You’ll notice ideas in this book that I overlooked. I strongly recommend this book for any professional teacher. This book isn’t wholly relevant, but there’s a lot of relevance in this book. ★★★★
- Book: Mindful Learning (jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com)
- Things you should know before you become a teacher (snagajob.com)