In chapter two of Brookfield’s “The Skillful Teacher”, he introduces these four core assumptions about skillful teaching.
Skillful teaching is whatever helps the students learn.
Skillful teachers adopt a critically reflective stance toward their practice.
The most important knowledge that skillful teachers need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers’ actions.
College students of any age should be treated as adults.
I found this statement to be the most important, “The most important knowledge that skillful teachers need to do good work is a constant awareness of how students are experiencing their learning and perceiving teachers’ actions.”
Getting valid feedback from our students on our performance is crucial to becoming a more skillful teacher, and what better place to gain insight of the course and the effectiveness of our teaching, than from those who are in it. Getting undesirable feedback is sometimes difficult. I always want to be doing what is the most beneficial for the students. But without getting the opinion of the students, how do we really know what we are doing is working. The students know what they find enjoyable, impactful, and engaging. Why continue using techniques if the general consensus is boredom, or frustration.
Here are a couple great examples talking about feedback from the students.