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Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Hardcover)

| John Wiley & Sons Inc | 3/7/2016

ISBN-10 : 1118944496   ISBN-13 : 9781118944493   List Price : $27.95

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Employ cognitive theory in the classroom every day

Research into how we learn has opened the door for utilizing cognitive theory to facilitate better student learning. But that's easier said than done. Many books about cognitive theory introduce radical but impractical theories, failing to make the connection to the classroom. In Small Teaching, James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of modest but powerful changes that make a big difference—many of which can be put into practice in a single class period. These strategies are designed to bridge the chasm between primary research and the classroom environment in a way that can be implemented by any faculty in any discipline, and even integrated into pre-existing teaching techniques. Learn, for example:

  • How does one become good at retrieving knowledge from memory?
  • How does making predictions now help us learn in the future?
  • How do instructors instill fixed or growth mindsets in their students?

Each chapter introduces a basic concept in cognitive theory, explains when and how it should be employed, and provides firm examples of how the intervention has been or could be used in a variety of disciplines. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students.

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Praise for small TEACHING

"The deft way that Lang positions his learning recommendations as 'micro' changes will make this book catch on like wildfire in higher education."
—Victoria Mondelli, executive director, Teaching Excellence & Engaged Learning, Mercy College

"Small Teaching is packed with ideas that will have you highlighting like mad. But this is no mere collection of tips—instead, it's a powerful, coherent framework aligned to the realities of teaching in higher education today."
—Michelle Miller, director, First Year Learning Initiative, University College, and professor, Northern Arizona University

"Lang's book offers what so many faculty members want and need: small-scale changes that can enhance their teaching and their students' learning—not just 'someday' but Monday."
—Marsha C. Lovett, director, Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation, Carnegie Mellon University

"In Small Teaching, Lang shows us that sometimes less really is more—less disruptive and more appealing, less complicated and more doable, less busy-work and more student learning. Be ready to underline, add comments, attach sticky-notes, and share your copy. In fact, buy two because your first copy will forever be on loan to colleagues ready for easy-to-adopt ideas that offer real results."
—Susan M. Zvacek, associate provost for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning, University of Denver

"Lang's 'must-read' new book Small Teaching presents a vital array of brief classroom activities, course interventions, and course design modifications that can enhance student learning, any of which can be employed at any time during the semester. Supported by thorough research and an engaging narrative style, this book can be mined by faculty across the disciplines on any campus that prizes student learning."
—Jeffery Galle, director, Center for Academic Excellence, Oxford College of Emory University

"The notion that amazing teaching can come as a result of making small, research-based changes seems simple, but it has the potential to empower many in higher education. James Lang has done us all a great service by providing strategies that allow us to be more efficient and effective in the classroom without overhauling our entire approach to teaching."
—Joshua R. Eyler, director, Center for Teaching Excellence, and adjunct associate professor of humanities, Rice University

"James Lang's Small Teaching manages to distill volumes of educational research into practical strategies that can be put to use immediately, without having to remake your whole course. I expect I'll be seeing well-thumbed copies on professors' bookshelves for years to come."
—David Gooblar, pedagogy columnist for Chronicle Vitae, and founder of

Product Details

  • ISBN-10: 1118944496
  • ISBN-13: 9781118944493
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 272