“The enthusiasm of the educators statistically predicted their students’ ratings of enjoyment and perceived value in the subject matter.”

This is the first week in the spring semester at my college, and it’s a critical time for setting the tone and energy level in our classes.  That’s why I’m turning again to James Lang’s excellent book Small Teaching, which focuses on simple ways to apply current research on teaching and learning. He provides six models for ways we can activate curiosity and purpose in our students by activating enthusiasm and compassion in ourselves. “We have to remember that the brains in our classrooms do more than think: they feel,” he writes, and those feelings “motivate and inspire student learning” (193).

Lang, James M. Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. Jossey-Bass, 2016, p. 176.


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