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Good Teaching: As Identified By Your Peers

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Faculty Development Toolkit

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.668.1 - 11.668.11



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Paper Authors


Jerry Samples University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

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DR. JERRY SAMPLES holds a BS Ch.E. from Clarkson College, MS and Ph.D. in ME from Oklahoma State University. Dr. Samples served at the United States Military Academy twelve years before assuming the position of Director of the Engineering Technology Division at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 1996. He is currently the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

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Good Teaching: As Identified by Your Peers


The literature on teaching is replete with definitions and examples of good teaching. They include the traits and characteristics of the best instructor/teacher/professor. They have examples of methods and results of surveys that quantify teaching: bad or good. In recent years, the literature included the impact of teaching on the student learner; thus, coming full circle, from teacher to learner. The literature provides good information, but it is the analysis of the current classroom experience of one’s peers that provides reliable information on the teaching of today’s students.

Since 1998, over 1000 faculty have pondered over 5 questions concerning good teaching. They have pair-shared the results and those results accumulated. Collectively they defined good teaching; the methods, the results and measures and the need for good teaching to ensure that classes and courses are successful. They even discussed the definition and meaning of successful. They have assigned adjectives and phrases as exemplars for the best practices of instructors/teachers/professors.

This paper will discuss the results of the discussions on good teaching. It will tie the results of faculty discussions with the literature and the voice of students who have discussed good teaching with Educational Psychologists. It will show that the fundamentals of good teaching are simple and attainable by every faculty member and it will frame a few of the most important traits and characteristics that the best instructors/teachers/professors possess. The Literature:

Skilling [1] begins his book: Do you teach? Views on college teaching, with the “Eleven Commandment for Teachers.” He states that, “The good teacher likes his students and enjoys helping them, understanding their thoughts and feelings. You [the good teacher] should:

1. Remember the students whom you teach, for they alone are a measure of your success. 2. Forget yourself, for your own excellence is good only as it helps your students. 3. Consider the purpose of your teaching, and show the student a goal as far ahead as you both can see. 4. Accept him as he is and improve him as you can; the student is guided by intellect but driven by emotion – to complain is futile, and to ignore his motivation is to fail. 5. Show him the real world of fact for interest and the ideal world of theory for understanding, each illuminating the other. 6. Relate new thoughts to what the student knows, for this is how he learns; lead him from the known to the unknown. 7. Repeat and repeat, yet never the same; let each idea be seen three times in different lights. 8. Let the student work, for work is remembered long after words are forgotten. Hearing is weak, seeing is better, doing is best. 9. Let the student seek; lead him to discoveries of his own, and these will be his choicest jewels of knowledge. 10. Provide light and air and quiet, for all work is lost if attention fails. 11. Know thoroughly the subject that you teach, and where it leads; present it with interest and enthusiasm.”

This advice, written in 1969, reveals a time when Professor Skilling’s students were predominantly males and expectations and results were undoubtedly different from those of

Samples, J. (2006, June), Good Teaching: As Identified By Your Peers Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--796

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