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The Art of Teaching

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Becoming an effective teacher can be quite painful and exhausting, taking years of trial and error. In The Art of Teaching, writer and critic Jay Parini looks back over his own decades of trials, errors, and triumphs, in an intimate memoir that brims with humor, encouragement, and hard-won wisdom about the teacher's craft.
Here is a godsend for instructors of all levels, o
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 10th 2004)
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Dec 27, 2013 Susie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiftyfiftyme
he's a bit elbow-patchy, hearty-laughy, ready to quote something by yeats for literally every possible occasion. but, there's actually a lot of philosophical substance to this book. be forewarned of subtle sexism in the writing.
Mar 11, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
I got this as a Christmas present from my dad. Might not have bought it because the title is pretty weak. However, it's one of the best books on teaching, on honestly assessing your skills and goals as a teacher and learning to be a great teacher, that I have read. There's solid, inspiring, focused pedagogy here, but well written. He also talks about being a writer and a teacher at the same time, that it can be a dynamic, effective relationship, some of us are more productive when we are doing b ...more
Jul 24, 2008 George rated it it was ok
You know what this book needed? More sensitive, yet noble vampires. There wasn't one of those in here. It was basically what this one guy, Jay Parini, thinks about teaching. And he's not a vampire.
Oct 03, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it
A good read, but not totally applicable to all teachers. He gives great advice and says some very relatable things. Yet he goes on unnecessary tangents sometimes
Jan 02, 2015 Leesgoodfood rated it really liked it
This is not a long book, but he covers a lot of ground. It is about the art of teaching; not the mechanics. He talks as a mentor, telling stories, from one experienced professor to a beginner, or less experienced. “Remember that your job is to demonstrate before students the process of thinking….you are trying to provide students with the sensation of thinking as well as the thoughts themselves.” (p.113). Things he discusses fit I well with what I’ve earned about adult learning theories. The onl ...more
Jul 18, 2014 Peter rated it liked it
Shelves: biography, education
Parini gives an enjoyable, personal account of teaching in his area (which is literature and poetry). I mostly liked his stories about teaching and mentoring experiences. I didn't get quite as much out of his advice for young teachers, although it's certainly not wrong. But most of it is common sense, like knowing your institutions promotion criteria and having a steady work rhythm. I guess the one thing I got some mileage out of was the notion of a "teaching persona" and how to develop it, alas ...more
It is always interesting to read about another teacher reflecting on his (her) chosen profession. So that's good. I cannot, however, relate to the many lessons in life and in the classroom that Parini offers after three decades in the classroom. A bit too much about Parini and his favorite old authors (classics no doubt) and way too little about student learning. Actually "The Art of Teaching" is a good title, as the book offers up teaching as a performance, strangely removed from student learni ...more
Rizky Suleman
Jul 24, 2013 Rizky Suleman rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Bahasanya ringan, menyenangkan untuk dibaca sekaligus menginspirasi dan memberi semangat. Sangat cocok dibaca oleh para pengajar muda yang bingung ketika hendak memulai karier sebagai pengajar. Professor Parini sering menyelipkan beberapa kutipan dan potongan cerita pengalaman dari beberapa pengajar favoritnya seperti Frost dan Wittgenstein. di akhir buku Ia menuliskan sebuah epilog yang indah dan menyentuh tentang pengalamannya sebagai seorang pengajar
Oct 13, 2008 Karen rated it liked it
There were parts of this book that were really great, parts that I've already figured out for myself through my own teaching (but which would have been extremely helpful a few years ago), and parts that I didn't like so much. I had expected to get a little more practical advice, but it feels like this book is more of a memoir with some advice thrown in. So if I had gone into the book with that idea in mind, I probably would have enjoyed it even more.
Mar 08, 2008 Christopher rated it really liked it
While not perfect (Parini's ego is very much on display), this book really allowed me to loosen up in the classroom. He discusses the "mask" we wear as educators, and the performance aspect to standing in front of a room of students. I especially like the section on the erotic nature of the teacher/student relationship. He also reminds us that we should we be free to discuss politics in the classroom--in fact it is absolutely necessary. Thank god somebody has the guts to say it.
Oct 12, 2013 M.G. rated it did not like it
Not so much about teaching, but rather about the tensions felt by the author in trying to balance his writing aspirations alongside a teaching commitment. Moreover, any parts that were devoted to teaching were geared towards post-secondary teaching, as opposed to grade school. Sadly, he started off with a great analogy for teaching, and went downhill from there. Pity.
Dec 17, 2012 Jocelyn rated it liked it
Shelves: pedagogy
Middlebury English professor Jay Parini shares his perspective. He makes some nice observations about making sure you're a good fit for your institution, adopting a persona, dressing the part (!), and keeping politics in the classroom (!!). A nice reminder that teaching is, essentially, a relationship with your subject and your students. Provocative and helpful but not earth-shattering.
Sebah Al-Ali
Didn't enjoy it.

"The only hard thing is to begin."
Quoting James Russell in "A Fable for Critics"

"The classrooms is a form of theater, and the teacher must play various roles." (p. 6)
Carly rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2015
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May 21, 2014
Mr. Keller
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Nov 15, 2012
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Dec 02, 2013
Brian Finnegan
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Apr 21, 2012
Stephanie rated it it was ok
Nov 23, 2015
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Sep 09, 2012
Rebecca rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2011
Jason Loeffler
Jason Loeffler rated it it was ok
Mar 27, 2008
Ami Stearns
Aug 30, 2014 Ami Stearns rated it liked it
Inspiring. Notes on college teaching from a 30-year veteran.
Ashley Swanson
Ashley Swanson rated it it was ok
Oct 15, 2012
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Apr 27, 2016
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Sep 05, 2010
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Dec 07, 2011
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Jay Parini (born 1948) is an American writer and academic. He is known for novels and poetry, biography and criticism.
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“Test-oriented teaching strikes me as anti-educational, a kind of unpleasant game that subverts the real aim of education: to waken a student to her or his potential, and to pursue a subject of considerable importance without restrictions imposed by anything except the inherent demands of the material.” 2 likes
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