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Start with the STUDENTS rather than the discipline


Start with the Students: we love this 3rd principle from Ken Bain's book, "What the Best College Teachers Do" (pp. 110-112):


...the best teachers start with something that, as [Harvard political theories Michael] Sandel put it, "students care about, know, or think they know... Such an approach often means asking students to begin struggling with an issue from their own perspective even before they know much about it, getting them to articulate a position.

Before you explain a concept to students, ask them what they think about the problem at hand. Ask them what they think is causing the problem.  Then begin to introduce ideas (theories, scientific findings) that shed light on the problem.


Most of the best teachers make a deliberate and carefully measured effort to confront some paradigm or mental model that students are likely to bring with them to class...  

Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.