influential teachers

Last week we discussed how people learn.  There was a lack of consensus, which is as it should be with an open-ended question.  As present/ future academics, we all need to find the areas where our abilities match the needs of the students.

One thing we talked about at our table was influential professors.  I don’t think most professors are influential because of what they say, but more importantly how they say it, who they are, and what they stand for.  I wonder if it’s not the social attributes of the professor that makes her/him appealing.  In essence, it’s how they make students feel as learners.  I think that a good professor first and foremost makes a student feel comfortable with what each student  knows and is not afraid to (gently) push students out of their comfort zones of thought.  A good professor encourages us to try new things and grow from that experience.  Any thoughts?  Agree or disagree, I’d be interested.

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One Response to influential teachers

  1. As I think back on influential professors in my life, I tend to agree with you. They both related to me and pushed me (my first published article as a Masters student, for instance). One of my most influential was/is my doctoral advisor, who I still work with 16 years after gaining my degree.

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