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Teaching Change

'Teaching Change' cover image

Teaching Change

How to Develop Independent Thinkers Using Relationships, Resilience, and Reflection

This pathbreaking book for educators shows that focusing on relationships, resilience, and reflection can better prepare graduates for the future.

Learning something new—particularly something that might change your mind—is much more difficult than most teachers think. Because people think with their emotions and are influenced by their communities and social groups, humans tend to ignore new information unless it fits their existing worldview. Thus facts alone, even if discussed in detail, typically fail to open minds and create change. In a world in need of graduates who can adapt to new information and situations, we need to renew our educational commitment to producing flexible and independent thinkers.

In Teaching Change, José Antonio Bowen argues that education needs to be redesigned to take into account how human thinking, behaviors, bias, and change really work. Drawing on new research, Bowen explores how we can create better conditions for learning that focus less on teachers and content and more on students and process. He also examines student psychology, history, assumptions, anxiety, and bias and advocates for education to focus on a new 3Rs—relationships, resilience, and reflection. Finally, he suggests explicit learning designs to foster the ability to think for yourself.

The case for a liberal (by which Bowen means liberating) education has never been stronger, but, he says, it needs to be redesigned to achieve the goal of creating lifelong learners and citizens capable of divergent and independent thinking. With an expansive and powerful argument, Teaching Change combines elegant and gripping explanations of recent and wide-ranging research from biology, economics, education, and neuroscience with hundreds of practical suggestions for individual teachers.