Reblogged from Inside Higher Ed.
by Joseph Pegoda
I started teaching in May 2007. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
1. Teaching is a learning experience.Every time I teach a lesson, I learn the material in new and deeper way. I also always learn so much from my students. I learn from their own life experiences. I learn from their insights and reactions. They see aspects all the time in the sources we use that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise – and these are awesome teaching moments. I also learn about pop culture – new music, new styles, and slang – from my students. My students have taught me that everyone always has some kind of significant ongoing challenge in their life, be it directly or indirectly with a friend/family member, in terms of health, work, money, or something else. These challenges provide the window through which they see the world and greatly impact success and opportunities.
2. Understanding adult learning theory is important.Adult learning theory or andragogy (in contrast to pedagogy) recognizes that as adults, college students, both traditional and nontraditional, have different learning needs and backgrounds compared to children or adolescents. College students have life experience. This life experience makes it harder for them to learn at times because of how the brain grows physiologically. Students need to be able to connect their life to classroom lessons. They tend to want to work independently, and they have more goals that are independent of their family and friends.