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A Conception of Teaching


The Publisher notes with profound regret that Nathaniel "Nate" Lees Gage, a Stanford professor emeritus of education who has been called the "father of modern research on teaching," died Aug. 17 at Stanford Hospital. He was 91.

After everything else has been done and provided—the money raised; the schools erected; the curricula developed; the administrators, supervisors, and teachers trained; the parents and other citizens consulted—we come to teaching, where all of it makes contact with students, and the teacher influences students’ knowledge, understanding, appreciations, and attitudes in what we hope will be desirable ways. Teaching is well-nigh the point of the whole educational enterprise and establishment aimed at producing student learning.

The literature of the behavioral and social sciences is full of theory and research on learning and memory. Teaching is comparatively a stepchild, neglected by those who have built a formidable body of theories of learning and memory. However, teaching is where learning and memory theory should pay off.

A Conception of Teaching dedicates a chapter to each of the following important components: the need for a theory; the possibility of a theory; the evolution of a paradigm for the study of teaching; a conception of the process of teaching; a conception of the content of teaching; a conception of students’ cognitive capabilities and motivations; a conception of classroom management; and the integration of these conceptions.

Written in a highly accessible style, while maintaining a base in research, Dr. Nathaniel L. Gage presents A Conception of Teaching with clarity and well situated within current educational debates.

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Tags: conception, teaching, Conception, theory, Teaching