The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors

The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors

by Peter Filene

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Gathering concepts and techniques borrowed from outstanding college professors, The Joy of Teaching provides helpful guidance for new instructors developing and teaching their first college courses.

Award-winning professor Peter Filene proposes that teaching should not be like a baseball game in which the instructor pitches ideas to students to see whether they hit or strike out. Ideally, he says, teaching should resemble a game of Frisbee in which the teacher invites students to catch ideas and pass them on.

Rather than prescribe any single model for success, Filene lays out the advantages and disadvantages of various pedagogical strategies, inviting new teachers to make choices based on their own personalities, values, and goals. Filene tackles everything from syllabus writing and lecture planning to class discussions, grading, and teacher-student interactions outside the classroom. The book's down-to-earth, accessible style makes it appropriate for new teachers in all fields. Instructors in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences will all welcome its invaluable tips for successful teaching and learning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807887639
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/13/2009
Series: H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 865,103
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Peter Filene is professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has earned six teaching awards. He is author of several books, including Him/Her/Self: Gender Identities in Modern America, In the Arms of Others: A Cultural History of the Right to Die, and Home and Away, a novel.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Ken Bain



Part I Premises

1 Understanding Yourself as a Teacher

2 Understanding Your Students

3 Defining Your Aims and Outcomes

Part II Practices

4 Constructing a Syllabus

5 Lecturing

6 Discussing

7 Broadening the Learning Environment

8 Evaluating and Grading

Part III Extracurriculars

9 Relating to Students

10 Teaching and Not Perishing



If You Want to Learn More: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography



2.1 One-Minute Feedback Memo

4.1 Storyboard for a Syllabus

4.2 Heading for a Syllabus

5.1 Constructing a Lecture

6.1 How to Help a Discussion Succeed

8.1 Drawing Relationships Quiz

8.2 Criteria for a Successful Essay

8.3 Quantified Evaluation Form

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Peter Filene has made the journey into college teaching much easier, more productive, and profoundly more enjoyable. . . . He also asks his readers to confront two fundamental questions that may not pop into every professor's mind but the answers to which can, research suggests, make an enormous difference: 'What does it mean to be a teacher?' and 'How do you view your students and their needs?'—Ken Bain, from the Foreword

[The Joy of Teaching] is full of teaching strategies and time-tested tips supported by real-life examples. . . . Filene's sense of joy and passion for teaching and learning is also readily apparent. . . . This book is useful for college faculty, graduate students learning to teach, academic deans, or any campus center devoted to teaching excellence in higher education.—Harvard Educational Review

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