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Why Aren't Professors Taught to Teach?


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Professors are experts in their subject matters but many have limited training in actually teaching their students.

Some learn by trial and error, or borrow practices from my teachers they've enjoyed. "A lot of faculty are just modeling their instruction after the instruction they've received as an undergraduate or graduate student," says Tanya Joosten, senior scientist and director of digital learning at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Most higher ed professors are left to develop their own approach to instruction, which often leads to a wide range of learning outcomes, some of which are less than ideal.

"We need a cultural shift," says Kathe Pelletier, director of teaching and learning at Educause. "Institutions need to be honest about the fact that faculty don't come already prepared to teach; they are brilliant experts in their subject matters, but they don't have training. And it isn't necessarily a natural skill."

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