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EDCI 943 Principles of College Teaching

Visit our Hoyt Commons Resource Library at 1800 Claflin Road, Suite 200 (Wildcat Landing) to check out books related to teaching and learning.

Selected Bibliography

Bain, Ken. WHAT THE BEST COLLEGE TEACHERS DO. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

This book is the result of a 15-year study of about one hundred college teachers from various fields and institutions. Ken Bain, teacher of history and director of several university teaching centers, has shared stories and insights that will help anyone who believes "that teaching matters and that students can learn."

Davis, Barbara Gross. TOOLS FOR TEACHING. Second Edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2009.


An important facet of this book is the focus on the skills of teaching, with practical advice for successfully implementing various teaching modes. Many beginning teachers have said that the format of this book is particularly useful to learn more about how to teach while they are teaching. The first edition of the book (1993) is also available in the CATL library ... and it is still a useful resource.

McKeachie, Wilbert J. and Marilla Svinicki. MCKEACHIE'S TEACHING TIPS: STRATEGIES, RESEARCH, AND THEORY FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TEACHERS. Twelfth Edition. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

According to the author, TEACHING TIPS was written specifically to help new college teachers get started effectively in the classroom. Of particular interest to a novice are the sections on "Countdown for course preparation," "Meeting a Class for the first time," "Taking student social diversity into account," and "Motivating Your Students for Your Class and for Lifelong Learning." Earlier editions of this book are also useful ... and can be found in the CATL library.

Angelo, Thomas A. and K. Patricia Cross. CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES: A HANDBOOK FOR COLLEGE TEACHERS. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Pub., 1993.

This book "features fifty valuable Classroom Assessment Techniques, each presented in a format that provides an estimate for the ease of use, a concise description, step-by-step procedures for adapting and administering the technique, practical advice on how to analyze the data, pros, cons, caveats, and other useful information." The concept of these techniques clearly reflects that teachers can improve their teaching much more effectively when they understand more about the learning process in their own classes and actively asses the impact of their teaching on their students' learning.

Berk, Ronald A. PROFESSORS ARE FROM MARS, STUDENTS ARE FROM SNICKERS. Madison, WI: Mendota Press, an imprint of Magna Publications, 1998.

The value and wisdom of using humor when teaching is often debated. Whether you agree with this author or not, if you want to consider using humor in your lectures or in your interactions with students ... and you'd like some help thinking about how best to do that ... this book may provide some ideas.


In this book, the author has developed ten basic principles that together form a foundation for effective teaching. These principles can bring faster success to classroom performances, can generalize to other tasks such as writing, and can provide a basis for making better use of traditional advice about teaching improvement. These principles instruct teachers in the effective teaching process, rather than narrowly describing products. With "first-order principles," teachers learn to relax and manage their jobs and their own growth as teachers.

Bonwell, Charles C. and James A. Eison. ACTIVE LEARNING: CREATING EXCITEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1. Washington, D.C.: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development, 1991.

Bonwell and Eison present the elements and advantages of active learning in this report. They discuss modifications to traditional lectures, alternative lecture formats, additional active learning strategies, the roles of researchers and various college and university personnel, and obstacles to the use of active learning.

Brown, David G., Editor. INTERACTIVE LEARNING: VIGNETTES FROM AMERICA'S MOST WIRED CAMPUSES. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 2000.

This is a rich collection of the best practices in the use of instructional technology from 42 of America's most wired college campuses. In 93 brief vignettes, professors show how they transformed their courses with technology and discuss how the technology affected teaching and learning in their classes. The accounts are written in such a way that they will help anyone-from the novice to the computer-savvy-who is interested in classroom applications of technology.

Brookfield, Stephen D. BECOMING A CRITICALLY REFLECTIVE TEACHER. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, 1995.

According to the author, the critically reflective process happens "when teachers discover and examine their assumptions by viewing their practice through four distinct, though interconnecting, lenses" -- autobiographical reflection, our students' eyes, colleagues' perceptions and experiences, and the lens of literature.  Numerous examples provide a description of critical reflection and its important place for every teacher.

Campbell, William E. And Karl A. Smith. NEW PARADIGMS FOR COLLEGE TEACHING. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company, 1997.

This book has been described as "written for faculty searching for new ways to help students learn." The chapters are written by several contributing authors and present a variety of teaching methodologies including cooperative learning, active learning, student management teams, the use of stories in teaching, information technology, and learning communities. The style is conversational. References to additional sources of information are included.


This is not a book to read from cover to cover, but it would serve you well as a resource book for your shelf as you strengthen your teaching skills. Essentially the author seeks to answer the question, "How can I create courses that will provide significant learning experiences for my students?" The operative word in that last sentence is "significant." There are many practical suggestions for both beginning and experience teachers.

Gallos, Joan V., V. Jean Ramsey and associates. TEACHING DIVERSITY: LISTENING TO THE SOUL, SPEAKING FROM THE HEART. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997.

In this extraordinarily edited volume, the seventeen contributors -- women and men from a wide range of ages, cultures, and backgrounds -- offer university/college instructors a unique look at the paradoxes inherent in the process of teaching diversity and provide grounded insights and sound advice about how to prepare for the kind of teaching that might change lives.

Grunert, Judith. THE COURSE SYLLABUS: A LEARNING-CENTERED APPROACH. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 1997. (3 copies available)

This concise, practical, manual will enable the newest to the most experienced teacher to plan and construct a syllabus that shifts from what they will cover (the traditional syllabus) to one that reflects what tools and information they can provide students to help them learn (the learning-centered syllabus).

Halpern, Diane F. and Assoc. CHANGING COLLEGE CLASSROOMS. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1994.

This book offers a more contemporary discussion of "new teaching and learning strategies for an increasingly complex world." There are sections on promoting active learning, developing multicultural understanding, and teaching with and about new technologies. Chapters are written by a variety of contributors.

Katz, Joseph and Mildred Henry. TURNING PROFESSORS INTO TEACHERS: A NEW APPROACH TO FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AND STUDENT LEARNING. American Council on Education. New York, NY: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1988.

Undergraduate teaching as the continuous interaction of professors and students is the keystone of this particular work. The authors went into hundreds of classrooms during two projects between 1978 and 1987 in order to observe how students learn and how teachers teach. This book may be especially useful for those of you who have some or a lot of teaching experience.

Kuh, George D. et al. STUDENT SUCCESS IN COLLEGE: CREATING CONDITIONS THAT MATTER. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2005.

Enhancing student achievement is a goal of individual teachers and of institutions of higher education. This book offers intriguing pictures of what an educationally effective university can be and practical strategies for improving the quality of undergraduate education. While the focus of the book is on the collective decision-making of a faculty, it could serve the individual teacher as well.

Lowman, Joseph. MASTERING THE TECHNIQUES OF TEACHING. San Francisco,CA: Jossey-Bass, 1995.

This is the second edition of this book. In the preface of the first edition, Lowman acknowledged that his purpose was to encourage college teachers to view their work as an art and to "rediscover and master the ancient skills" of traditional college teaching. Although a decade separates the two works, but the author maintains that "a high-quality college education is still undeniably dependent on the skill and motivating power of classroom instructors." Still, Lowman has observed much in ten years and the reflections in the second edition reveal an expansion of views and recommendations.

Miller, W. R. and Marie F. Miller. HANDBOOK FOR COLLEGE TEACHING. Sautee-Nacoochee, GA: PineCrest Publications, 1997.

The authors focus on "the everyday challenges faced by instructors who want to facilitate learning and growth on the part of their students."  The book is based upon field tested research in the domain of teaching and learning, and an extensive list of publications is found at the end of each chapter.

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. ADVISOR, TEACHER, ROLE MODEL, FRIEND: ON BEING A MENTOR TO STUDENTS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997.

This 84-page guide offers helpful advice on how you can become a better mentor to your students. Topics covered include: helping students get the most from their educational experience, career planning, professional development, and skill building. Also included is a list of bibliographical and internet resources on mentoring and related topics.


This guide is intended to be used as a "toolbox," a concise compilation of hundreds of teaching techniques, formats, classroom activities, and exercises. It should be a useful resource for any teacher who is looking for very accessible ways to present his or her material more effectively. The author says, "Rich with quick tips on a comprehensive range of issues, this is a guide that teachers will continuously look to for development and support of their teaching."

Palmer, Parker J. THE COURAGE TO TEACH: EXPLORING THE INNER LANDSCAPE OF A TEACHER'S LIFE. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998.

This is not a book for every teacher. Some find it inspiring; others do not. In the author's words, "This book is for teachers who have good days and bad -- and whose bad days bring the suffering that comes only from something one loves. It is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts, because they love learners, learning, and the teaching life."

Stanley, Christine A. and M. Erin Porter, editors. ENGAGING LARGE CLASSES: STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES FOR COLLEGE FACULTY. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 2002.

This book is compiled for those teachers who "face the challenge of teaching classes with perhaps hundreds of students in fixed-seating, auditorium environments. The advice and experience of the contributing authors offer perspectives, recommendations, and "an array of tested techniques and tools." A matrix that serves as a topic location guide assists the reader in finding specific information of interest.

Robinson, Sir Ken. THE ELEMENT: HOW FINDING YOUR PASSION CHANGES EVERYTHING. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 2009.

"Ken Robinson is a remarkable man, one of the few who really look at and into you, so he makes you feel at ease and happy. I'm proud to be in his book as one of the people he feels attained the Element. Reading his book helps you pinpoint the search we must all make to achieve the best in us." ~Gillian Lynne, choreographer, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera

Walvoord, Barbara E. & Virginia Johnson Anderson. EFFECTIVE GRADING: A TOOL FOR LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998.

Grades matter. Grades are inadequate. Grading is one of the most difficult responsibilities that teachers have. Few know how to do it effectively. This book can help you understand the contexts of grading and the techniques that will improve your evaluation of student learning.

Weimer, Maryellen. LEARNER-CENTERED TEACHING. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2002.

As Dr. Weimer explains, "learner-centered teaching focuses attention on what the student is learning, how the student is learning, the conditions under which the student is learning, whether the student is retaining and applying the learning, and how current learning positions the student for future learning." It's a resource book that's worth some time.


The editors of this quarterly journal state that the series has four goals: "to inform readers about current and future directions in teaching and learning in post-secondary education, to illuminate the context that shapes these new directions, to illustrate these new directions through examples from real settings, and to propose ways in which these new directions can be incorporated into still other settings." Each volume's chapters are written by different authors and focus on a central theme.

Several volume titles:

Scholarship Revisited:  Perspectives on the Scholarship of Teaching

Developing Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Abilities

Communicating in College Classrooms

Promoting Diversity in College Classrooms

Collaborative Learning

Using Active Learning

Teaching and Learning at a Distance

Changing the Way We Grade Student Performance

Promoting Civility:  A Teaching Challenge

Strategies for Energizing Large Classes