Factors Affecting Teaching

This week’s readings made me think about factors that can affect teaching. For example, Deel stated “I was nervous about teaching and had a lot of doubt about whether or not I was doing the best job I could” (Deel, p.1). In a separate example, Papert mentions progressive education experimenters that “were too timid; the experiments failed just as the test of any medical treatment would fail if the treating doctors were afraid to give the drugs in effective doses” (Papert, 1993, p.14). I decided to find out about additional factors that can affect teaching. I learned about demands that some academic institutions can place on instructors. “These instructors face intense pressure to push students to graduate more quickly and to do it more efficiently, even as public funding for higher education, especially in California, has yet to fully return to pre-recession levels” (Rivera, 2015). I think it is important to acknowledge academic institutions can influence how instructors teach.

Deel, S.E. Finding My Teaching Voice. Retrieved from http://cte.virginia.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Deel.pdf

Papert, S. (1993). The children’s machine: Rethinking school in the age of the computer. New York: BasicBooks.

Rivera, C. (2015, August 26). Professors have ‘happy anxiety’ before classes begin. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-faculty-column-20150826-story.html

8 Replies to “Factors Affecting Teaching”

  1. Thank you for your posting. I agree that academic institutions can influence how instructors teach. I believe the institutions can also influence how we evaluate our students; such as the way how institutions evaluate their faculty definitely influence our syllabus as well as the way we push/teach our students. From my previous teaching experience, as an individual faculty, there was not much freedom in teaching or evaluating students; we, all faculties who were teaching same course, used same syllabus and class materials. Additionally, there was a given scoring rubric for our faculty from the university.

  2. I agree that there will be several factors affecting an educator, I wonder what would your teaching self look like managing the stressors that you have listed as influencing an educator?!

  3. Thanks for the post. I think, in other words, those institutions do not allow instructors to develop their ‘authentic teaching voice’. Then, how can those instructors be themselves and develop their best way of teaching? Pressure and stress might affect their mental state and they will focus on different things rather than effective teaching, I assume.

  4. Very good points, thank you for your post! I was thinking about “doing the best job” for teaching or ” failed” progressive education experimenters. In my view, these two statements are not at all far from each other, since teaching especially in higher education, is only about triggering the curiosity of students, so they would want to know more about an issue. So, there would be never be a best or worst practice, since we all are different and get involved/interested differently.
    And I totally agree with the point you brought up about the institutional limitations which restrict teachers’ discretion in the classrooms.

  5. Institutional limitations…better known as the State. The State set guidelines of how students should be taught and how they should learn, but the majority of the people who are setting these guidelines have never set foot in a classroom as a teacher or building administrator. These individuals, who less likely have a degree in education, are able to tell the expert, the highly qualified teacher what and how to teach.

  6. Your posts are always fun to read because they encapsulate the reading so well, and you provide resources just in case. But I think you are right in terms of academic pressure, teaching is hard. But what about the inverse of this situation, what about no pressure? Would teaching be better or worse? Is there a reason for these institutions, if so what do they mediate? I don’t mean to quiz I am just interested in this idea.

  7. Totally agree! Sometimes teaching strategies can be products of education environment, society context, etc. They can be made to match the expectations from the outside. Maybe we should also think about how authentic teaching can be adaptive and to what extent.

  8. Yes, I completely believe an institution has a lot of influence how instructors teach. Just one example I think of is InclusiveVT and how it is an institutional way of promoting inclusive environments in and outside of the classroom. This is the kind of influence that institutional leadership can have on how students feel and are being treated in the classroom. How can a student truly learn when they feel excluded? So yes definitely and institution can influence teaching styles.

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