October 19, 2005

640 BALANCING UNDERTEACHING AND OVERTEACHING

Here's something interesting. A teacher uses Aristotle's "golden mean" to help him make decisions so as to avoid the extremes of under- and over-teaching. Sounds like advice I could use right now!
The article is an archived posting on a listserve called "Tomorrow's Professor", which Pedablogue mentions here.
Underteaching is characterized by making students responsible for almost all of the learning process. The teacher's investment in the learning outcomes is low and may communicate to students that the course is a "weed out" course and students are on their own.

Overteaching occurs when instructors shoulder too large a share of the teaching-learning process; that is, overteachers take on numerous responsibilities for learning that properly belong with the student. It is important for instructors to know who's responsible for what in the classroom. Depending on the context, over_teaching may take the form of a last-minute review session or providing many pre-exam questions.

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