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Case Study, from the NY Times Magazine, 9.21, 2008 October 10th, 2008 | No Comments

This is a great article because, regardless of who you support in the presidential election, it generates lots of critical questions about teachers, teaching, and learning… The topics form a perfect prism for examining the type of academic environment(s) that will enable you to do your best work at college.

So tell me…
Who is your favorite teacher(s) in high school? Why? What qualities does s/he possess that make your learning fun, interesting, exciting, and challenging?

What is the classroom atmosphere like? How is the furniture arranged? (Really! Room arrangement reveals both philosophical and practical considerations about teacher-students relationships.) How are you treated as a student (as an individual and as part of a group)?

Do assignments challenge you? Are you provided with both structure and free rein? What type of feedback do you receive about the quality of your work?

How available is the teacher to meet with you and address your thoughts, questions, and concerns?

Getting clear about:
~ the style of teaching/teacher that works for you
~ the learning atmosphere that supports your styles of learning
~ the nature of assignments (their breadth, depth, individual projects and/or group work)
can provide a lens for looking at college classes and professors, helping you to create a match between your preferences and the possibilities on campuses.

I’ll admit it, I am a task oriented, data, facts, and research kinda gal, and yet I want to be able to develop rapport with the course leader (because I continue to take courses) and my colleagues/fellow learners.
I want a teacher/trainer/professor who will
> stimulate my thinking
> listen to and answer my questions
> provide for opportunities to work with others and on my own
> give me congratulations and constructive feedback

What is your vision of a great teacher? What do you need and want? How will you be sure to get it?

Think through the questions and then dig for the answers when you do you campus visit. Talk with students, professors and alumni. You can find and get what you want!

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