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Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning

ISBN: 978-1-118-94449-3
272 pages
March 2016, Jossey-Bass
Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (1118944496) cover image

Description

Employ cognitive theory in the classroom every day

Research into how we learn has opened the door for utilizing cognitive theory to facilitate better student learning. But that's easier said than done. Many books about cognitive theory introduce radical but impractical theories, failing to make the connection to the classroom. In Small Teaching, James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of modest but powerful changes that make a big difference—many of which can be put into practice in a single class period. These strategies are designed to bridge the chasm between primary research and the classroom environment in a way that can be implemented by any faculty in any discipline, and even integrated into pre-existing teaching techniques. Learn, for example:

  • How does one become good at retrieving knowledge from memory?
  • How does making predictions now help us learn in the future?
  • How do instructors instill fixed or growth mindsets in their students?

Each chapter introduces a basic concept in cognitive theory, explains when and how it should be employed, and provides firm examples of how the intervention has been or could be used in a variety of disciplines. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

About the Author xi

Introduction: Small Teaching 1

Part I Knowledge

1 Retrieving 19

2 Predicting 41

3 Interleaving 63

Part II Understanding

4 Connecting 91

5 Practicing 113

6 Self-Explaining 137

Part III Inspiration

7 Motivating 167

8 Growing 195

9 Expanding 219

Conclusion: Beginning 243

Works Cited 247

Index 253

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Author Information

JAMES M. LANG is director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of On Course: A Week- by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching and Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty as well as a monthly column for The Chronicle of Higher Education. His website is www.jamesmlang.com.

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Press Release

March 01, 2016
Wiley Announces Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning

In Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (March 2016; $27.95; Cloth; ISBN: 978-1-118-94449-3; Jossey-Bass, a Wiley brand), James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of modest but powerful changes that make a big difference—many of which can be put into practice in a single class period. These strategies are designed to bridge the chasm between primary research and the classroom environment in a way that can be implemented by any faculty in any discipline, and even integrated into pre-existing teaching techniques. Learn, for example:

  • How does one become good at retrieving knowledge from memory?
  • How does making predictions now help us learn in the future?
  • How do instructors instill fixed or growth mindsets in their students?

Small Teaching fills the gap in higher education literature between the primary research in cognitive theory and the classroom environment. While other books provide research without concrete examples or simply introduce radical theories that ultimately are not useful in the classroom, Small Teaching offers simple interventions that can be integrated into pre-existing techniques as well as clear descriptions of how to do so. The term "small teaching" refers to an approach that seeks to spark positive change in the classroom through small but powerful modifications to course design and teaching practices. A small teaching approach or activity may take one of three forms: brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions in a course, or small modifications in course design or communication with students.

Each chapter of Small Teaching introduces a basic concept in cognitive theory, explains when and how it should be employed, and provides firm examples of how the intervention has been or could be used in a variety of disciplines. Small Teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students.

See More