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Convergent Teaching

Tools to Spark Deeper Learning in College

Aaron M. Pallas and Anna Neumann

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How what we know about K–12 education can revolutionize learning in college.

Honorable Mention in the Foreword INDIES Award - Education by the FOREWORD Reviews, American Book Fest Best Book Award in Education/Academic by the American Book Fest

Amid the wide-ranging public debate about the future of higher education is a tension about the role of the faculty as instructors versus researchers and the role of teaching in the mission of a university. What is absent from that discourse is any clear understanding of what constitutes good teaching in college. In Convergent Teaching, masterful…

How what we know about K–12 education can revolutionize learning in college.

Honorable Mention in the Foreword INDIES Award - Education by the FOREWORD Reviews, American Book Fest Best Book Award in Education/Academic by the American Book Fest

Amid the wide-ranging public debate about the future of higher education is a tension about the role of the faculty as instructors versus researchers and the role of teaching in the mission of a university. What is absent from that discourse is any clear understanding of what constitutes good teaching in college. In Convergent Teaching, masterful professors of education Aaron M. Pallas and Anna Neumann make the case that American higher education must hold fast to its core mission of fostering learning and growth for all people.

Arguing that colleges and universities do this best through their teaching function, the book portrays teaching as a professional practice that teachers should actively hone. Drawing on rich research on K–12 classroom teaching, the authors develop the novel idea of convergent teaching, an approach that attends simultaneously to what students are learning and the personal, social, and cultural contexts shaping this process. Convergent teaching, they write, spurs teachers to join students' cognitions with the students' emotions and identities as they learn. Offering new ways to think about how college teachers can support and advance their students' learning of core disciplinary ideas, Pallas and Neumann outline targeted actions that campus administrators, public policy makers, and foundation leaders can take to propel such efforts. Vivid examples of instructors enacting three key principles—targeting, surfacing, and navigating—help bring the idea of convergent teaching to life.

Full of research-based, practical ideas for better teaching and learning, Convergent Teaching presents numerous instances of successful campus-based initiatives. It also sets a bold agenda for disciplinary organizations, philanthropies, and the federal government to support teaching improvement. This book will challenge higher education students while motivating college administrators and faculty to enact change on their campuses.

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Convergent Teaching

Aaron M. Pallas and Anna Neumann

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Reviews

Reviews

Pallas and Neumann are part of [a] teaching and learning revolution in higher education.

I can't wait to share this book with colleagues. It is a much-needed and thoughtful focus on the (seriously neglected) importance of teaching in colleges and universities today. Unless we pay attention to the message of this book, higher education as we know it now is in serious trouble. Convergent Teaching is a well-written, engaging manifesto for a change in direction.

Colleges today are highly criticized for poor graduation rates and a perceived lack of learning by students. Many proposed solutions focus on financial or structural issues, while too few have addressed the core of the enterprise: How faculty teach. This important volume addresses the problem directly, and provides practical solutions for faculty and administrators alike.

Invaluable. Pallas and Neumann offer both the high-level vision and details on the ground in describing how higher education can be richer and more meaningful.

Finally, a smart book about good college teaching—what it looks like and why it matters. That the authors lean on K–12 research and wisdom about teaching is uncommon. Using cases of actual professors' classes, Pallas and Neumann underscore the central importance of teaching in higher education. It is about time.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
248
ISBN
9781421432939
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Part I. A Roadmap
Chapter 1. American Ambivalence and College Teaching
Part II. Convergent Teaching
Chapter 2. Targeting: Carving Out What's To Be Taught
Chapter 3. Surfacing

Acknowledgments
Part I. A Roadmap
Chapter 1. American Ambivalence and College Teaching
Part II. Convergent Teaching
Chapter 2. Targeting: Carving Out What's To Be Taught
Chapter 3. Surfacing: Unearthing Students' Prior Knowledge to Foster Learning
Chapter 4. Navigating: Orchestrating Subject-Matter Concepts and Students' Prior Knowledge
Part III. Policies and Practices
Chapter 5. Campus-Level Supports for Convergent Teaching
Chapter 6. Supporting Convergent Teaching beyond the Campus
Notes
References
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Aaron M. Pallas

Aaron M. Pallas is the Arthur I. Gates Professor of Sociology and Education and the chair of the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Anna Neumann
Featured Contributor

Anna Neumann

Anna Neumann is a professor of higher education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the author of Professing to Learn: Creating Tenured Lives and Careers in the American Research University.