Conceptions of Good Teaching by Good Teachers:
Case Studies from an Australian University
Fernanda P. Duarte
University of Western Sydney, firstname.lastname@example.org
INTRO: What is the article about?
This article refers to what constitutes good teaching in early 21st Century higher education, through an examination of the experience of five outstanding lecturers from a business school in an Australian university. It is based on a qualitative study that explored their perceptions on what constitutes ‘good teaching’. Resonating with existing research on good teaching practice, the findings suggest that good teachers tend to embrace constructivist principles, and are committed to facilitating learning that is deep, engaged, experientially-based, empowering, reflective, and life-long. The real-life examples of good teaching practice provided by the participants are a valuable resource to higher education teachers, in particular those beginning their careers. This paper aims to contribute to it by examining conceptions of good teaching, through the eyes of a small group of lecturers from a business school at an Australian university. The paper is based on a qualitative study carried out in 2010 to find out why these lecturers were regarded as "outstanding teachers" by their peers; more specifically, what approaches and techniques they used, and why they believed these approaches were effective.
Dentition: The variety of teaching approaches discussed in these works is itself indicative that teaching in higher education is a complex endeavour – and that good teaching is a "contested concept" (Skelton 2004, 452) with no universally accepted definition (Devlin & Samarawickrema, 2010).
The Seven Good Practice Principles: One influential example of this genre is the Seven Good Practice Principles for undergraduate education, proposed by Chickering and Gamson (1987). For these researchers, good practice in undergraduate education:
1. Encourages student-faculty contact.
2. Encourages cooperation among students.
3. Encourages active learning.
4. Gives prompt feedback.
5. Emphasises time on task.
6. Communicates high expectations.
7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.
(Give example or explain them briefly)
Seven factors underpinning successful learning: Focusing on the learner, Race (2010) has drawn attention more recently to "seven factors underpinning successful learning": ’wanting to learn; needing to learn; learning by doing; learning through feedback; making sense of "things"; explaining, coaching and teaching in small groups; and learning by assessing in small groups. Endorsing the advice of his colleagues, Rice (2010) also draws attention to the quintessential role of motivation in the learning process, recommending experientially based activities to help students make sense of knowledge.
Good university teaching model: Shifting the focus from teacher to teaching practice, Australian researchers Kember and McNaught (2007, 1) have elaborated a model of "good university teaching" based on their interviews with a group of lecturers regarded by their peers as exemplary teachers. Kember and McNaught (2007) propose ten principles of good teaching that take into account, inter alia, the importance of motivating students to learn; developing higher-order skills for deep learning; engaging students in learning; and taking into account students’ future needs.
SAY WHAT CONSTRUCTIVISM IS FIRST
One of the underlying premises of constructivism is that learning is a dynamic process that engenders the active engagement and participation of the learner. Hence, activities designed to promote active learning should be consistent with this premise (Bonwell & Eison 1991). A teacher who embraces constructivist principles makes ample use of experientially based (Kolb 1984), participative techniques such as discussions, problem solving,...
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