Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching


In my last blog post I wrote about our evolving educational systems and one of the things I mentioned was MIT’s Open Course Ware program and how great it is that they give away their courses for free. GLP’s astute marketing manager, Debra Cagwin, took some time to check out their offerings and uncovered their Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching. Gee, we thought, these guidelines sound an awful lot like Dialogue Education, don’t they? So I checked out this publication, which is essentially a list of resources for teachers, a treasure trove of research and articles about the following topics:

  • Engaging students in learning
  • Contextualizing students’ learning experiences
  • Creating an inclusive learning and teaching experience
  • Designing an engaging, contextualized and inclusive curriculum
  • Teaching an engaging, contextualized and inclusive curriculum

Here’s a sample of the kind of thing you’ll find in this publication:

Analysis of the literature suggests that students must do more than just listen: they must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. Most important, to be actively involved, students must engage in higher order thinking tasks such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Bonwell, C. & Eison, J., Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom, ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, D.C. (1991).

Are we right? Doesn’t this sound like what we Dialogue Educators use every day in our learning environments? Or how about this?

There are many roads to learning. People bring different talents and styles of learning to college. Brilliant students in the seminar room may be all thumbs in the lab or art studio. Students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need the opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they can be pushed to learn in new ways that do not come so easily.

Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z., “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education,” AAHE Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 7, p. 6 (1987).

Lest you think we’re affiliated with MIT, we’re not (but we could be . . . “Hey, MIT, how about hiring some great Dialogue Educators?!”). We're just spreading the good word about this terrific list of resources. We hope they help inform your work with Dialogue Education. Check out the complete guidelines here: Find anything you like?

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