American Association for Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20036 ($2.50 each for up to 10 copies; $2.00 each for 11 or more copies).
Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Perspectives on the improvement of college instruction are offered. External forces that focus attention on the quality of college instruction are identified, including: the demand for good teaching by two groups of nontraditional students (low-performing students and adult students); technology, and especially new interactive technologies; the growing interest in assessment and program evaluation; the new emphasis on alterable variables in educational research; the lack of mobility for faculty members; and low morale among the teaching faculty. While the classroom lecture method is the method of choice for college teachers, one promising method for better learning of subject-matter content has been the Personalized System of Instruction, which emphasizes student involvement, high expectations, and assessment and feedback. Problems arise when colleges that are primarily teaching institutions turn to faculty publication as their route to distinction. For undergraduate education to improve, teachers will need support of their colleges, including the commitment to evaluate teaching performance in decisions to hire, promote, and tenure faculty members. It is recommended that research on teaching and learning should be done in classrooms across the nation by classroom teachers ("classroom researchers.") (SW)
Originally titled "Taking Teaching Seriously" and first presented to the National Conference on Higher Education (March 1986, Washington, DC).