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The Art of Teaching

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The noted classicist presents his educational methodology, within the context of history, from the Sophists to modern teaching.


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The noted classicist presents his educational methodology, within the context of history, from the Sophists to modern teaching.

30 review for The Art of Teaching

  1. 5 out of 5

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    Over the years I have met people who were students of Gilbert Highet when he was a classics professor at Columbia. He was by all accounts a gentleman of the old school, a genteel and erudite scholar whose lectures on Vergil's Aeneid and many other classical works were widely appreciated. You get a sense as you read this book of just what an amazing teacher he must have been. Highet's writing is lucid, engaging, and straightforward. The flow is enlivened by many personal anecdotes. He first discus Over the years I have met people who were students of Gilbert Highet when he was a classics professor at Columbia. He was by all accounts a gentleman of the old school, a genteel and erudite scholar whose lectures on Vergil's Aeneid and many other classical works were widely appreciated. You get a sense as you read this book of just what an amazing teacher he must have been. Highet's writing is lucid, engaging, and straightforward. The flow is enlivened by many personal anecdotes. He first discusses the qualities that a good teacher must possess: he must know the subjects he is teaching; he must like these subjects; he must like his pupils; he must know his pupils; and he must know "much else." The teacher, Highet informs us, "is a man or woman of exceptionally wide and lively intellectual interests." He then discusses the teacher's methods. He focuses on the importance of preparation and communication. Other chapters include one on great teachers and their pupils (including Socrates and Jesus) and teaching in everyday life. He makes many sound observations about what makes good teaching, and frequently points out many of the pitfalls that undermine the efforts of even the best teachers. He is quick to point out the basis for the title of his book. Teaching is not a science, but an art, he informs us, and this book is an eloquent exposition of why that is so. I recommend this book to anyone thinking about a teaching career; for anyone who has already begun teaching it has even greater value.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Roger Lakins

    This book was first published over sixty years ago. It still stands as a classic mind opener to anyone who is truly interested in becoming a teacher or in improving his or her skills as an educator. If you are only interested in band wagons and believe that no real learning has taken place before your appearance on the scene, this book will be a disappointment. Highet takes an analytical and historical approach to the greatest of teachers and their methods. In doing so, he provides one of the fi This book was first published over sixty years ago. It still stands as a classic mind opener to anyone who is truly interested in becoming a teacher or in improving his or her skills as an educator. If you are only interested in band wagons and believe that no real learning has taken place before your appearance on the scene, this book will be a disappointment. Highet takes an analytical and historical approach to the greatest of teachers and their methods. In doing so, he provides one of the finest examinations of the methodology of the Classic Greek School a layman could hope to find. Highet encourages a love for learning, a love for children and a passion for sharing only the finest with our students. My guess is that he would have been opposed to "dumbing down" on many counts, but primarily because of the lack of respect it shows for the potential of the student. In a mere five pages, Highet manages to encapsulate the essence of what made Jesuit education so distinctive and valuable to the world of ideas. It makes it clear to those who read his words these many years later that the loss of Jesuit identity and methodology at their own institutions which took place in the end of the twentieth century has been a tragic loss. By the time I left teaching after thirty years, I think I was on my fifteen to twentieth re-read of this work. I still needed to be open and keep up to date with the latest theories and findings and wade through the flood of latest and greatest found in journals and theses. More is being revealed. Let us make no mistake about it, though, Highet was a giant of a mind with an awesome soul. His attitude toward teaching made this veteran much less resentful about the lack of monetary reward my career has brought me. It made me feel humble and honored to have been part of a noble tradition of individuals who drank deeply from the well springs of the fount of ideas, culture, humanism and spirituality. It inspired me to want to redouble my efforts to bring yet another generation to that spring for nurture that they might live life more deeply and, in turn, attempt to leave the world better than it was upon their arrival.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ebadur

    A bit old fashioned in some things, but otherwise absolutely lovely especially the first three chapters - introduction, the teacher and the teacher's methods. OK chapter 4 on the Great teachers and their pupils was pretty awesome as well. chapter 5 is entitled 'teaching in everyday life'. This book was written in 1950 by a Columbia University professor. I found it in a used book store near Telegraph in Berkeley in the summer of 2008 after teaching a lesson in an Arabic language summer intensive A bit old fashioned in some things, but otherwise absolutely lovely especially the first three chapters - introduction, the teacher and the teacher's methods. OK chapter 4 on the Great teachers and their pupils was pretty awesome as well. chapter 5 is entitled 'teaching in everyday life'. This book was written in 1950 by a Columbia University professor. I found it in a used book store near Telegraph in Berkeley in the summer of 2008 after teaching a lesson in an Arabic language summer intensive at Zaytuna :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tait Jensen

    This is a product of a far different time, and, thus, we must acknowledge the sexism and the subtle racism while still recognizing the jewels of wisdom contained in these pages. Highet outlines, with humor, anecdote, erudition, and a breezy style, truly fundamental principles of teaching, which serve to both inspire and educate anyone in the teaching profession.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    Thus far my favorite book from the Education Practicum. Addendum: one of my favorite books from almost 3 years at NSA :) Now on a mission to read everything this man ever wrote.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Richard Munro

    A classic always worth re-reading

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fredösphere

    Really a surprisingly good survey of the various arts and crafts that come together in great teaching. As I'll be teaching a creative writing class starting this fall to H.S. students (home school co-op), the advice here is well-timed. The book had its ups and downs, and Highet is not embarrassed to cover the most mundane areas (don't mumble!). Taken as a whole, the advice is bracing. I think what I most learned is the way teaching is an act of creative empathy; good teachers know their students Really a surprisingly good survey of the various arts and crafts that come together in great teaching. As I'll be teaching a creative writing class starting this fall to H.S. students (home school co-op), the advice here is well-timed. The book had its ups and downs, and Highet is not embarrassed to cover the most mundane areas (don't mumble!). Taken as a whole, the advice is bracing. I think what I most learned is the way teaching is an act of creative empathy; good teachers know their students and know what each student is absorbing and why. At the end, Highet turns his attention to the great teachers of the classical world: Socrates, Plato, and Jesus. He describes the Hebrew milieu of Jesus' time, and describes Jesus' teaching style, in ways I've never heard, despite decades of sermons. Truly eye-opening.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Hull

    Worth reading again.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tara Callahan

    It had great information, boring and I couldn't finish it. I wasn't motivated to learn the art of teaching anymore. It had great information, boring and I couldn't finish it. I wasn't motivated to learn the art of teaching anymore.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Cobb

    Overall this was a pretty good book and had some good nuggets of wisdom to offer the reader. It was written in the 1950's and it shows. A modern reader at first pass may determine that this book is dated "white man worship" filled with sexist language an imagery. I don't think that is necessarily the case. The author's referring to most teachers (especially in higher education) and most students (again especially in higher education) as male is more of a reflection of his time rather than any mi Overall this was a pretty good book and had some good nuggets of wisdom to offer the reader. It was written in the 1950's and it shows. A modern reader at first pass may determine that this book is dated "white man worship" filled with sexist language an imagery. I don't think that is necessarily the case. The author's referring to most teachers (especially in higher education) and most students (again especially in higher education) as male is more of a reflection of his time rather than any misogynistic intent on the author's part. To throw the "baby out with the bath water" so to speak would be to miss out on some good advice on what solid teaching looks like. The author raises some concerns about education that seem like they could have come from today's newlines. It has encouraged me in to see that there have always been issues with teaching and being a good teacher. It was well worth my time to read and has given me much to ponder and consider as I continue my journey of an educator.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Not teacher gift basket fodder. A very rewarding read, informative, sometimes even funny. As another reviewer said, it's definitely worth re-reading. Complex, but not overly so. Makes me want to read some Aristotle. Not teacher gift basket fodder. A very rewarding read, informative, sometimes even funny. As another reviewer said, it's definitely worth re-reading. Complex, but not overly so. Makes me want to read some Aristotle.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jamal

    Considering my career as a teacher I had different expectations. The book, however, took teaching into another level that's so broad. The book is filled with other people's experiences in the realm of teaching. Considering my career as a teacher I had different expectations. The book, however, took teaching into another level that's so broad. The book is filled with other people's experiences in the realm of teaching.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben Palpant

    Next to The Seven Laws of Teaching by Gregory, this is the most helpful book I have read on the craft of teaching. She rightly recognizes that all teaching is character formation and his advice Ames toward that end.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Frances

    My friend Andy recommended this book after my year of service with Americorps...I loved it and still use today as a reference and to refresh my reasons for wanting to teach!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 3, as one of six books on learning and teaching.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Withun

    -

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amelia Stieren

    Excellent book. It’s practical, personal, and even profound at times. Highet lays out what he has to say about the art of teaching in a clear and organized way, but he makes this plan come alive with many examples as well as personal anecdotes.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Austin Hoffman

    First two thirds were very good. The last third was not as good. Solid, down-to-earth, common-sense instruction given.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Crucial teaching skills in a short book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Read most of this and flipped through rest. Its a bit dated, 1955, but presents a very down-to-earth personal account of teaching. It contains many great anecdotes of experience, and lots of advice for teaching. There is also a chapter on historical teachers and their students (Socrates-Plato, Plato-Aristotle, Aristotle-Alexander, Jesus, etc), which are great. A few pages on teaching in the Renaissance was also very interesting. Some points to highlight: -get to know your students on an individual Read most of this and flipped through rest. Its a bit dated, 1955, but presents a very down-to-earth personal account of teaching. It contains many great anecdotes of experience, and lots of advice for teaching. There is also a chapter on historical teachers and their students (Socrates-Plato, Plato-Aristotle, Aristotle-Alexander, Jesus, etc), which are great. A few pages on teaching in the Renaissance was also very interesting. Some points to highlight: -get to know your students on an individual basis. If you wish to have an effect on their lives, they must believe you are an ally, someone they can trust, and not resist you -Be passionate about your subject, it can fascinate your students and keep them motivated P27-“You must be the leader of a group – something higher than the actor with his audience, something lower than the priest with his congregation, something kindlier than the officer with his unit.” -pride yourself to be a knowing and thinking person. Everyone are specialists in their occupations, and this stands for teaching as well, you should have a wider-knowledge than the parents you serve. -you must bridge the school (curriculum) and the outside world for your students, and bridge their youth and maturity by your example -motivation is not enough, you must also teach children to focus and concentrate. It is a skill and it is enacted by choice.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wafa

    "There is no possible way to educate people except by calm reasoning" Plato HAVE YOU EVER TASTED GINGER? I have always thought that teaching is like ginger; when you taste it for the first time, you feel shocked and feel that it is a very wierd tast that nature presents. By the time, you get used to it then you start loving it and feel that it is tasty. However, you can not drink much of it because it might hurt your kidnee. So, be careful dealing with GINGER (Teaching). The Art of Teaching Teaching "There is no possible way to educate people except by calm reasoning" Plato HAVE YOU EVER TASTED GINGER? I have always thought that teaching is like ginger; when you taste it for the first time, you feel shocked and feel that it is a very wierd tast that nature presents. By the time, you get used to it then you start loving it and feel that it is tasty. However, you can not drink much of it because it might hurt your kidnee. So, be careful dealing with GINGER (Teaching). The Art of Teaching Teaching is really an art. Although most people think that anybody can do it, not everybody will be great at it. As a teacher .. nothing in the world will help you through the daily struggle with your duties and your students except your motives tward teaching.. REMEMBER The less educated the people are, the easier they are to convince" Make it difficult for your students to be convinced

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh Pollard

    The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet is a chapter book about what makes a great teacher. Highet talks about how important it is for teachers to present what they teach in an engaging manner. Highet takes an artistic approach to his philosophy of teaching by presenting a variety of approaches that should be used in the classroom in order to get the best out of each student. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone regardless if they are an aspiring teacher or not. The l The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet is a chapter book about what makes a great teacher. Highet talks about how important it is for teachers to present what they teach in an engaging manner. Highet takes an artistic approach to his philosophy of teaching by presenting a variety of approaches that should be used in the classroom in order to get the best out of each student. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone regardless if they are an aspiring teacher or not. The lessons taught in each chapter of the book can be applicable to a variety of situations that occur in everyday life. At some point, as humans we will all be in a student and teacher position which is another reason why I recommend this book. It is relatable and useful to all.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Great examination of the conditions and methods of teaching, along with some meditations on great teachers from history. Comparable to the seminal Seven Laws in its analysis and insight, though it's also a little more concrete and human (teachers ought to have a good sense of humor, Highet points out). Great examination of the conditions and methods of teaching, along with some meditations on great teachers from history. Comparable to the seminal Seven Laws in its analysis and insight, though it's also a little more concrete and human (teachers ought to have a good sense of humor, Highet points out).

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Hammond

    The 'meh' of teaching. The first couple chapters had some enjoyable nuggets which I enjoyed thinking about. But as I read on I was left with the impression that the rest of the book is a collection of loosely related ramblings of a cranky old man. The 'meh' of teaching. The first couple chapters had some enjoyable nuggets which I enjoyed thinking about. But as I read on I was left with the impression that the rest of the book is a collection of loosely related ramblings of a cranky old man.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Clark

    So much of this book doesn't relate to homeschooling, which is a rather different beast than teaching. But what DID relate was rich with wisdom. It wasn't an exciting read, but it was a very worthwhile one. So much of this book doesn't relate to homeschooling, which is a rather different beast than teaching. But what DID relate was rich with wisdom. It wasn't an exciting read, but it was a very worthwhile one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    jacky

    I believe I used parts of this book for a research project I did as a freshmen in high school. My bibliography has a publication date of 1950 though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    dated in place , but very good

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mark Feltskog

    First rate, and highly recommended analysis of how one masters the "art" of teaching. First rate, and highly recommended analysis of how one masters the "art" of teaching.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Meldi Arkinstall

    An amazingly informative book showing all kinds of teachers through the ages and their different teaching styles.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    Some excellent insights into what makes great teaching. Come ramblings while erudite and interesting took away from the overall cohesiveness of the book. Excellent over all though.

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