Monday, April 4, 2011

Seven Principles For Good Practice in Undergraduate


by Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson

Arthur Chickering is Distinguished Professor of Higher Education at Memphis State University. On leave from the Directorship of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Memphis State, he is Visiting Professor at George Mason University. Zelda Gamson is a sociologist who holds appointments at the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. Apathetic students, illiterate graduates, incompetent teaching, impersonal campuses-so rolls the drum-fire of criticism of higher education. More than two years of reports have spelled out the problems. States have been quick to respond by holding out carrots and beating with sticks.

There are neither enough carrots nor enough sticks to improve undergraduate education without the commitment and action of students and faculty members. They are the precious resources on whom the improvement of undergraduate education depends. But how can students and faculty members improve undergraduate education? Many campuses around the country are asking this question. To provide a focus for their work, we offer seven principles based on research on good teaching and learning in colleges and universities.

Good practice in undergraduate education:

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.

3. Encourages active learning.

4. Gives prompt feedback.

5. Emphasizes time on task.

6. Communicates high expectations.

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

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