Core Teaching Principles & Best Practices

  1. Inquiry-guided learning: Students work inductively, building up their own analysis and creating their own understandings, with our guidance.
  2. Active-learning classrooms: Most classroom time consists of students DOING, not just listening. If used at all, lectures are interactive.
  3. Uncovering concepts & nuances rather than simply covering a body of facts.
  4. Students are neophytes in our disciplines: Students do what professionals in our disciplines do, albeit at an appropriate level, rather than simply reading results from other researchers.
  5. Promote critical & creative thinking: Assignments require both these important cognitive practices.
  6. We measure student improvement: We do not assume our practices yield good learning. Well-conceived assessments measure both critical and creative thinking.
  7. We push assignments to Bloom’s upper levels. We emphasize applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating over simple remembering facts.
  8. Low- and higher-stakes [informal & formal] writing and speaking opportunities: Students need practice on these important skills; low-stakes options mean less grading for instructors and lower pressure for students.
  9. Promote developmental as well as cognitive outcomes: We teach the whole student. We’re attentive and supportive of the major life transition students are making from high school to college.