Teaching Fellows Resources

In the last thirty years, researchers and theorists around the world have developed powerful new insights into what it means to learn, how university students do learn and all the personal, cognitive, and social forces that can influence learning. We have also developed powerful insights into the practices and thinking of highly successful educators, those people who have had enormous success in helping and encouraging their students to achieve remarkably deep learning.

In this program, participants will have the opportunity to explore those insights, think about their implications for the way we create learning environments for our students, and use your own insights to create wonderful and perhaps revolutionary learning environments for our students. We say potentially revolutionary because the insights you develop and the models you fashion have the potential of transforming higher education, on this campus and perhaps more broadly. You will become catalysts for change, within your department, school or college, and discipline. 

We invite you on this wonderful transformative journey. That journey begins with a project.

Here are some recommended resources

The faculty at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, has developed its own guidelines on learning. As we refine our own list, it will be useful to compare our ideas with theirs. We will also find useful their links to the literature on teaching and learning.

Guidelines for Learning:

Below are a dozen guidelines to deep learning environments. These guidelines were derived from observing the kinds of learning environments created by highly successful teachers. We believe they are also well supported by the research and theoretical literature on human learning. Our collective task this year will be to verify, clarify, amplify, and, if necessary, modify this list, to test it against our own reading of the literature, and to annotate it with references to the literature and with specific specific practices to implement these ideas.

People learn most deeply, in ways that have a sustained and substantial influence on the way they subsequently think, act, or feel, when:

  • They are trying to answer questions or solve problems they find interesting, intriguing, important, or beautiful;
  • They can try, fail, receive feedback, and try again before anyone makes a judgement of their work;
  • They can work collaboratively with other learners struggling with the same problems;
  • They face repeated challenges to their existing fundamental paradigms;
  • They care that their existing paradigms do not work;
  • They can get support (emotional, physical, and intellectual) when they need it;
  • They feel in control of their own learning, not manipulated;
  • They believe that their work will be considered fairly and honestly;
  • They believe that their work will matter;
  • They believe that intelligence and abilities are expandable, that if they work hard, they will get better at it;
  • They believe other people have faith in their ability to learn;
  • They believe that they can learn.