The Gap Between Knowing and Doing

It is obvious that knowing does not automatically lead to doing. Case in point, there is a wide gap between knowing about effective teaching practices and implementing them.

So why focus on encouraging people to read the scholarship on teaching and learning? There are several reasons.

First, if knowing might not lead to doing, then not knowing certainly won’t.

Second, there is a difference between knowing something in a general sense (most people in higher education “know” something about collaborative learning, active learning, etc.) and actually reading for oneself the books and articles that explain in depth and demonstrate concretely how and why that something  is so. The latter is more impacting.

Third, the purpose of this project is to promote reading as a means, not an end. But the means matter. While there are many ways of promoting better teaching (workshops, seminars, guest speakers, one-on-one discussions, etc.), few approaches could work better than for teachers to read the scholarship on teaching and learning for themselves with the intention of improving their teaching.

Reading the scholarship will not automatically transform anything.

We still have to do the hard work of changing our practices and our institutions.

But we have to do the reading first.

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