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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The National Teaching & Learning Forum Insider

National Teaching and Learning Forum

The National Teaching & Learning Forum Insider 

There’s cognition and there’s affect, but something else lies behind them both in human learning--the Will. William James wrote about it. In the ‘50s we talked about it as “motivation” ; now we speak of “engagement.” What factor or factors explain why some students make it over difficult humps in learning and others keep batting their heads against something and never succeed?
Two articles in the May issue of The National Teaching & Learning FORUM begin to look at this profoundly important aspect of college teaching and learning. The first features an interview with Ray Land (University of Durham, UK), who along with Jan Meyer coined the phrase “threshold concepts,” focusing attention on those difficult bridges students must cross to grasp the essentials of a new discipline. How can faculty identify these points and help students cross them? The ones who make it across have resilience and persistence as well as native ability. Can we serve students better by learning how to assess who have the “psych-capital” to succeed?
The second article turns attention in the other direction, toward students who persist beyond their native abilities. They’ve embraced the slogan that “winners never quit”; they lack “self-knowledge.” Richard Lewine (University of Louisville) is exploring how faculty can help these students learn to wisely assess themselves and find the path that’s right for them?
In addition to these intriguing stories, the issue’s TECHPED column reports on how the Internet’s power seems to have left students feeling like mere spectators in the world of learning. As they see it, “pulse-frequency-coded algorithms” do the research; they’re just block and copiers. Students’ ego formation needs educating as columnist Michael Rogers (Southeastern Missouri State) sees it.
DEVELOPER’S DIARY columnist, Ed Nuhfer’s multi-part exploration of “metadisciplinarity” concludes with a roundup of the most effective pedagogical approaches within the metadisciplines of technology.
And Marilla Svinicki’s (University of Texas at Austin) AD REM . . . reflects on the need for more reflection by both faculty and students on feedback they offer each other on how the classes and semesters they share are going.
--James Rhem, Executive Editor




National Teaching & Learning Forum is a publication of:
     Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Brand |  One Montgomery Street, Suite 1200  |  San Francisco, CA 94104
     Phone: 888-378-2537  |  Fax: 888-481-2665  |


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