Advice From Our Best Teachers

The Office of Educational Development Has Compiled Essays of Distinguished Teaching Award Recipients

What is good teaching?

Why not talk to some of the folks who know first-hand: winners of Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Awards.

To bring this group together and pose all the questions might take a while, but it's unnecessary.

The Office of Educational Development's latest book, "What Good Teachers Say About Teaching," does just that.

Lecturer and Academic Coordinator Stephen Tollefson and Barbara Davis, assistant vice chancellor--educational development, have edited essays from 83 outstanding teachers on Berkeley's faculty.

All have won the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Since 1959, when the award was instituted, more than 170 faculty in 44 departments have been honored.

All professors who were still on campus were asked to participate in the project.

As a part of the award process, nominees are asked to submit statements about their teaching, and many essays contain excerpts from those statements.

Other faculty members chose to write new statements especially for the book.

Contributors come from across the academic spectrum--humanities, physical sciences and engineering, biological and environmental sciences, the professional schools and the social sciences.

They range from lecturer to professor emeritus and include Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners and members of the national academies of science and engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The best teachers have several things in common, Davis and Tollefson note in the preface to their book.

- "They organize and explain material in ways appropriate to their students' abilities;

- they develop a rapport with students and create an environment conducive to learning;

- they show their concern that students really master the material;

- they help students become independent learners; and

- they reflect on and continually evaluate their own teaching."

The book is the product of a three-year grant to a consortium of universities by the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
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