University of Michigan-Flint

University of Michigan-Flint News

Flint’s Higher Education Institutions to Explore “What The Best College Teachers Do”

  • September 25th, 2012 By: UM-Flint News
What Do the Best College Teachers Do? Event featuring author Ken Bain

The Skinny

“We understand that what our students learn is highly dependent on how we teach,” said Jan Worth-Nelson, director of UM-Flint’s Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, one of the event organizers.

Great teaching has never mattered more than in 2012, according to a group of professors from four Flint campuses who are working together to assure that college students here experience significant and relevant learning.

The group includes heads of teaching centers at Baker, Kettering, Mott Community College, and UM-Flint.

To highlight what’s at stake and to encourage best practices in teaching, the group, called the QuadPod Consortium, is bringing in nationally-known teaching expert Ken Bain, author of the best-selling book What the Best College Teachers Do.

Ken Bain, author of "What the Best College Teachers Do"

Ken Bain, author of "What the Best College Teachers Do"

Bain will be in Flint October 4th and 5th.  His visit will feature a speech and dinner for faculty from all four campuses at UM-Flint on Thursday evening. In addition, he will meet privately with faculty on each campus. On Friday morning, he will speak to a “Leadership Breakfast” at Mott Community College, including top administrators from each institution.

Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? The short answer, according to Bain, currently Provost at the University of the District of Columbia, is that it is not what teachers do, it is what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value all types of human learning.

Bain’s work encompasses a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offering valuable answers for all educators.

“We understand that what our students learn is highly dependent on how we teach,” said Jan Worth-Nelson, director of UM-Flint’s Thompson Center for Learning and Teaching, one of the event organizers.

“It’s our job as faculty members to know how learning happens and to make our classes rich and relevant—these are responsibilities for all of us,” she added.  ”That’s why we’re here. Creating significant learning experiences for our students is the role we play in the future of Flint, in the future of our larger communities, in the future of our students’ lives.”

The following opportunities are available to UM-Flint faculty* :

- October 4th – Dinner and Presentation, 6:00 p.m.— 8:00 p.m., Michigan Rooms, UCEN Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Complimentary buffet dinner provided. Space is limited; registration is required.

- October 5th – A Conversation with Ken Bain, 1:30-3:30 pm, Michigan Rooms, UCEN Dr. Bain will speak exclusively with UM-Flint faculty. Light refreshments provided. Registration is requested.

*NOTE: the October 4th dinner event is also open to faculty from Baker College, Kettering University and Mott Community College. Faculty from these institutions are asked to register here.

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