3. Teaching and Learning

Abstract: Teachers, above all others, should possess a proper understanding of the concepts of teaching and learning. Merely stating that teaching is what teachers do is an inadequate description of the term because then any classroom process – either effective or ineffective – might be considered teaching. Learning, if it is to be authentic, must entail more than students memorizing and regurgitating terms and solving equations. Unless one possesses a normative definition of teaching and learning, a teacher will not know what type of performances to aim toward and how best to achieve learning. So it is with students. There are different student learning styles – different learning progressions – that affect educational outcomes, and teachers should be familiar with these and how to deal with them. What teachers know and believe about teaching and learning serves as the basis for their teaching philosophies and shapes how they teach.

The Act of Teaching – Operational Definitions of Teaching – Teaching Defined as Success – Teaching Defined as Intentional Activity – Teaching Defined as Normative Activity – Toward a Scientific Definition of Teaching – A Working Definition of Teaching – What is Learning? – Deep, Strategic, and Surface Learning Styles – Learning Theories – Learning Progressions – Conditions for Learning – “Centered” Learning Environments – An Inquiry-Oriented Science Teaching Model – The Relationship Between Teaching and Learning – Toward a Personal Educational Philosophy – Normative Educational Philosophies – Formulating and Initial Educational Philosophy