Review Essay: Six Books Every College Teacher Should Know

José Antonio Bowen


This review essay of six classic books (by Bain, Fink, Gross-Davis, Barkley, Angelo and Cross, and Walvoord and Anderson) on college teaching, applies their lessons to teaching music history. All six provide research on how the very best teachers get things wrong, correct mistakes, and try new approaches. Mostly, the research is emphatic that good teaching comes from hard work and thoughtfulness about student needs. A key finding is that high standards alone do not yield good results, but combining challenge with support is almost universally common in the best teachers. Equally important for student success are active engagement during class time, clear grading strategies, and a focus on creating an environment where students can change. Most of us recognize that changing the way our students think is difficult, but the best professors model change by teaching the history of their subject and how knowledge changes. 


Pedagogy, teaching and learning, music history, musicology, review, best teaching

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ISSN 2155-109X