Improving Teaching: One Professor’s Experience

Oct 30, 2019 |
Madison, WI
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The Fall 2019 issue of Dædalus, Improving Teaching: Strengthening the College Learning Experience, features 12 essays exploring the quality of students’ college experience in the classroom.

The issue’s editors, Sandy Baum and Michael McPherson, spoke at an event in Cambridge that was webcast live before the discussion in Madison. Baum and McPherson discussed the importance of attending to quality and noted that it’s woefully absent in most public policy discussions of higher education. As they write in the introduction, “Paying for college and even getting a credential ultimately will not mean much unless college students have high-quality educational experiences that add real value for them in their careers and in their civic and personal lives.”

Madison Discussion

Following the conclusion of the webcast on teaching, learning, and the larger educational environment, Harry Brighouse led an in-person discussion. He contributed the essay “Becoming a Better College Teacher (If You’re Lucky)” to the Fall 2019 issue of Dædalus. His essay is a narrative about his own efforts to improve as a teacher over time including how he assessed his progress, observed colleagues, hired a coach, reviewed videos of his classes, and participated in workshops. Brighouse’s honest reflection provides a rich insight into what it might take to become a better college teacher.