Book Review and interview with author Ken Bain
By Carolyn Schurr Levin
Sometimes a book comes along that justifies repeated exploration years, even decades, after it was written.
“What The Best College Teachers Do,” by Ken Bain, is such a book.
Although it was published in 2004, its insights are uniquely applicable to journalism professors and college media advisers in 2017.
The book, which has become a top selling book on higher education, has been translated into 12 languages and was the subject of a television documentary series in 2007. It captures the collective scholarship of some of the best teachers in the United States by not just recording how they think but also conceptualizing their practices.
Bain’s premise is simple. During 15 years of study, he looked at what the best educators do to help and encourage students to achieve remarkable learning results.
Of course, that is what we all want – remarkable learning results. We strive, every week, to guide out students to achieve those remarkable results. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we don’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a roadmap toward that success? That is where Bain’s book comes in.
“I centrally focus on how people learn and how best to foster that learning,” Bain said in a recent telephone interview from his office at the Best Teachers Institute in New Jersey. The institute, according to its website, “collaborates with faculty and administrators to transform their curricula, courses, and even individual class sessions into powerful new learning experiences for their students.”