Four Lenses: literature lens

There are numerous benefits for teachers who engage with the literature of teaching and learning. For example, you may discover ideas for overcoming teaching struggles, new feedback strategies or interpretive techniques, a strong vocabulary to express teaching beliefs, and/or wider social, political and cultural contexts for your teaching. For Brookfield, engagements with the literature of teaching and learning is a "psychological and political survival necessity", through which teachers come to understand their teaching goals, strategies, outcomes and beliefs as well as the contextual factors that shape their teaching (37-8). The following activities are designed as guides to help you document your engagements with the literature of teaching and learning, and to provide some ideas on how to incorporate an engagement with scholarly literature into your teaching practice and design.

Engaging with the Literature of Teaching and Learning

  • Engaging with a Scholarly Colloquium: This activity offers an example of how to document your engagement with and reflection on the literature of higher education. The article used for this example is entitled "What Does it Mean to be an Academic" and discusses issues such as academic freedom, curriculum and professional development.
  • Conversing with the Literature of Teaching: and Learning: This activity involves an engagement with an article from the literature of teaching and learning and one of the other lenses (self, student or peer). The activity shows how you might record your engagement with the literature of higher education. The article used in this example is entitled "Community and Learning: Contradictions, Dilemmas and Prospects" and discusses the need to refine how communities are formed in the classroom and why the formation of communities might be a goal in particular units of study.
  • Template for Recording Engagements with the Literature of Teaching and Learning: This is a general template that you may find useful when engaging with an article, paper, chapter or book. The template emphasises an action learning approach to engagement and reflection by prompting you to consider how the article has, might or will influence your teaching practice, design and/or philosophy.

You can, of course, create your own records detailing your engagements with the literature of teaching and learning. The above activities are examples only. You could certainly engage with articles other than those listed here.

For a list of relevant articles, follow the Further Reading link below. Many items on that list will soon be made available on eReserve under the Unit of Study title "Teaching and Learning Four Lenses".

Further Reading