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Creating Significant Learning Experiences, Revised and Updated by L. Dee Fink

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CHAPTER FIVE

CHANGING THE WAY WE TEACH

In the first chapter of this book I issued an invitation to readers to consider changing the way they think about teaching. In the next three chapters I laid out some ideas on significant learning and integrated course design to provide content and direction for this new way of thinking. However, teachers who are ready to respond to this invitation will still face a number of important questions associated with the process of making substantial changes in the way they teach:

Question One: Is it really possible to change my teaching in a way that will both achieve the kinds of learning described in the taxonomy of significant learning and build the kinds of courses that exemplify the principles of good course design? It feels like it might be just pie-in-the-sky dreaming.

Preliminary answer: Yes, this kind of student learning can be achieved. You can be sure it’s possible because significant learning is already being achieved by innovative and caring teachers. This chapter provides a specific description of what these teachers are doing with course design that allows them to achieve multiple kinds of significant learning.

Question Two: But can I do it? The challenge of changing the way I have been teaching for several years—changing myself—sounds quite difficult.

Preliminary answer: Yes, it is difficult to change ingrained patterns of behavior that have been created and developed over many years, especially when many of us “teach the way we ...

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