Looking for inspiration on teaching or some specific strategies? David Gooblar, a lecturer in rhetoric at the University of Iowa and a blogger on teaching, writes about classroom issues in these pages. Here is a sampling of his recent columns.
After all, the basic science of nutrition hasn’t changed: People who consume more calories than they burn tend to gain weight. But just telling people to cut down on calories isn’t enough to change their behavior. (If it were, we’d all have our ideal BMI.) So what did the researchers behind the JAMA study do differently? They taught people how to adopt the sort of eating habits that naturally lead them to consume fewer calories.
Participants attended classes — once a week for the first two months, then less frequently throughout the year — to learn about healthy eating habits. Class size was small (with no more than 22 students), and the instructors focused on making "sustainable lifestyle changes, not simply following a temporary ‘diet.’" Moreover, based on early feedback, the researchers
modified their teaching to make it "less dense, less didactive, and more interactive." Instructors lectured less and began organizing classes around activities, including students cooking their own recipes.
Small class sizes? Fewer lectures? More active-learning activities? Does any of that sound familiar?