Understanding Teaching Through Learning

by: Joshua Kurzweil with Mary Scholl

Teacher training, self-study resource

Price: $18.00

ISBN 13: 978-0-86647-321-1
ISBN 10: 0-86647-321-7


Understanding Teaching Through Learning can be used as a course book for teacher training courses or teacher development workshops. In addition, it works well as a self-study book used by individuals or small groups. Both new and experienced teachers can benefit from the thought-provoking exercises and readings.

Creating a learning-centered classroom

In this book theories and practices of effective classroom language teaching are developed using reflective and analytic tools. However, in this book, rather than being told what they "should and shouldn't" do, readers explore their own views of language learning and teaching through experiential activities, readings, and exercises that result in action plans that make sense for their own classrooms. Although many of the examples focus on language learning, the frameworks can easily be applied to other content areas. As such, this book can provide a solid foundation in teaching and learning for instructors of many different subjects.

This book addresses three main themes and six guiding questions:

Theme 1: The Individual Student and Learning
     1. What factors affect the learning process?
     2. How does classroom interaction affect individual student learning?

Theme 2: Designing a Learning Experience
     3. How can I design my lesson so that I will know students have learned?
     4. How can I design a flow of activities that supports student learning

Theme 3: Supporting a Learning Experience
     5. How can I set up activities and my classroom to support student learning?
     6. How can I communicate with students so as to support student learning and participation?


     o Each chapter begins with a 'teaching puzzle' in which the reader thinks about a classroom story and how to help students learn.
     o There are experiential activities that guide the reader to reflect on specific aspects of the learning process outlined in the initial puzzle.
     o The Points of View section presents expert opinions about how people learn and how learning can be facilitated.
     o Key Questions provide a framework for analyzing and planning lessons using the principles presented in each chapter.
     o Exploring the Practice provides opportunities for the reader to balance the expert views with their own experiences.
     o Activities and Techniques for the Classroom provide a variety of options for teachers to try out in their own classrooms.
     o The book is written in clear accessible language making it a good option for non-native teachers who are themselves English language learners.

Josh began his teaching career in 1990. He has taught and trained in Japan, Spain, the Republic of Georgia, and the United States. He received his Master's degree in teaching from SIT, holds the Cambridge DELTA, and a Master Practitioner Certificate in NLP. In addition to working on the SIT course, Josh has been a trainer with the Peace Corps and does freelance consulting. His particular areas of interest include Experiential Learning and cross-cultural communication. Josh lives with his wife and son in Berkeley, California.


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