The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator

Reshape the way you think about and approach teaching in this comprehensive course, delivered by award-winning professor and a distinguished teacher.
The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 83.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth watching if you want a quick introduction A good course presented in a skilled way suitable to review your teaching skills at college level.
Date published: 2021-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course! This course has provided me with a number of useful teaching tools and has highlighted many areas in which I would like to improve my teaching. The material is relevant, to-the-point, and applicable.
Date published: 2021-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good course I thought this was a very good course. I learnt a lot. I wish there were more hands-on, in-class clips, when the Master Teachers interacted with students. I wish his suits were more elegant though. They were too loose, specially his pants! But he is a great MASTER teacher :-)
Date published: 2020-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lot of useful information After watching this course on my GreatCoursesPlus membership, I got this for my son,who is a high school teacher. I bought it for him from my Great Courses account. Having been a teacher myself, I believed this course would be of much interest to him. Another reason for buying that course for him was to expose him to what the Great Courses has to offer. It seems to me that it would benefit the Great Courses if they lowered the price for gift purchases, especially for a new customer. Even though it has been a long time since I have purchased a course for myself, I look forward to receiving their catalog. I check each course to see if it offered on the Great Courses Plus and mark if it is. About 75% are. I pass the catalog on to my son and daughter so that they might find courses of interest.
Date published: 2020-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth Watching Again! I bought this course a second time, to give to my son. He is in a position to teach what he knows. The first time I watched it through, even made notes on each lecture and planned to use it to teach a course at the school I graduated from. It gave me some bright ideas and taught me much about teaching, inspired me to try and write lesson plans, but didn't go so far as to teach me how to actually do that...and it didn't quite give me the courage or the opportunity to actually do so. But then...that's just me.
Date published: 2019-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great course, but ... Without doubt, Professor Allitt is one of TGC’s best lecturers, so I thought it would be interesting to see what he would have to say about the art of teaching. After viewing it, I can say that this is an excellent course for teachers, especially for university and Senior High School teachers. I recommend it highly for any teacher who enjoys his or her work, and who feels like they could improve their craft and/or who are just looking to see how a master “goes about it.” Allitt does most of the presenting, but the course includes input from six other skillful teachers. Each presentation addresses a different, specific topic, such as what to do on the first day of class, students’ learning styles, conducting seminars, leading discussions, and so forth. The course is (probably) suitable for individuals who find themselves in a wide range of positions where they are being asked to mentor, advise, lecture, tutor, and teach in the more traditional sense. Based on my own experiences as a teacher in several types of colleges and universities in Australia and America, however, I would have to add a caveat or two to his views and methods. First off, it appears to me that Allitt’s experiences have been limited to elite universities, where he has enjoyed teaching exceptional students. Additionally, he appears to have enjoyed the luxury of teaching mostly elective courses and small classes. My own experiences, except for a few years, has been very different, i.e. teaching multiple sections of courses that students take as requirements in a more or less open admissions university. In such a setting, some of his recommendations probably would meet with a considerable amount of resistance, and could even get him into trouble. However, he is such a gifted teacher, I suspect that he would soon realize this and would adapt quickly to succeed in any case. I recommend this course highly, but with a few reservations.
Date published: 2019-04-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Review of Teaching In the package where the CDs were there seems to be a place on the back of the front of the box that would hold perhaps a pamphlet with instructions. This would make sense because I have no instructions. Also, there are two folders for files on the first CD and the first folder has nothing in it which would seem to have the necessary files to boot up the system. Therefore, what was sent to me has absolutely no use.
Date published: 2018-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly the Art of Teaching I wanted to improve my teaching skills and make my class room more exciting and lively. This course exceeded my expectations. I was immediately able to apply what I have learned.
Date published: 2018-06-29
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Learn how to reach astounding new levels of success as a teacher with The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator. These 24 lectures, delivered by award-winning Professor Patrick N. Allitt, will help you develop and enhance your teaching style; provide you with invaluable methods, tools, and advice for handling all manner of teaching scenarios; and open your eyes to how other teachers-and their students-think about and approach this life-changing profession.


Patrick N. Allitt
Patrick N. Allitt

Nostalgia is the enemy of history. 'Downton Abbey' is great fun but it's not history. If seeing or reading something historical makes you feel warm and cosy, it's probably very inaccurate.


Emory University

Dr. Patrick N. Allitt is Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught since 1988. The holder of a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Allitt-an Oxford University graduate-has also taught American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Henry Luce Postdoctoral Fellow. He was the Director of Emory College's Center for Teaching and Curriculum from 2004 to 2009, where he looked for ways to improve teaching. In this critical administrative position, he led workshops on a wide variety of teaching-related problems, visited dozens of other professors' classes, and provided one-on-one consultation to teachers to help them overcome particular pedagogical problems. Professor Allitt was honored with Emory's Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2000 was appointed to the N.E.H./Arthur Blank Professorship of Teaching in the Humanities. A widely published and award-winning author, Professor Allitt has written several books, including The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History; Catholic Intellectuals and Conservative Politics in America, 1950-1985; Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome; and Religion in America since 1945: A History. He is also author of I'm the Teacher, You're the Student: A Semester in the University Classroom, a memoir about one semester in his life as a university professor. In addition, he is the editor of Major Problems in American Religious History. He has written numerous articles and reviews for academic and popular journals, including The New York Times Book Review.

By This Professor

The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator


Successful Teaching

01: Successful Teaching

What makes a good teacher? What makes a great one? In addition to illustrating the important role that teaching-and teachers-play in civilized society, Professor Allitt outlines the structure of the following 23 lectures and introduces you to the other veteran Great Courses professors who'll appear throughout the course....

33 min
The Broad Range of Learners

02: The Broad Range of Learners

There has always been a strong relationship between teaching and learning. Here, discover how lifelong learning habits are cultivated by listening to students share their own insights, and hear teachers stress why it's important to always keep learning....

28 min
Starting Out Right

03: Starting Out Right

The first day of class. It's the most daunting moment in the career of both new and seasoned professors. In this lecture, learn how to make the most of your first class meeting by actively getting to know your students' names, demonstrating why your subject is so important and fascinating, establishing your expectations, and more....

29 min
The Teacher's Persona

04: The Teacher's Persona

Discover ways to develop and enhance your teaching persona-the in-classroom personality that establishes respect among your students. These include establishing guidelines and boundaries; using dress, regionalism, age, and other personal characteristics to your advantage; and avoiding the pitfalls of treating students as peers....

28 min
Planning the Work

05: Planning the Work

What do you want your students to learn? How do you intend to teach your subject? How would you solve potential learning problems? The answers to these questions lie in this lecture on the art of planning, which can help cut down on your degree of uncertainty and strengthen your teaching confidence....

30 min
The Teacher-Student Relationship

06: The Teacher-Student Relationship

Listen to what teachers and students themselves have to say about the importance of maintaining responsible and productive teacher-student relationships. Professor Allitt also offers tips on the best ways to create and maintain a strong practical and professional working relationship with your students....

32 min
Dynamic Lecturing

07: Dynamic Lecturing

Throughout the history of education, lecturing has been one of the basic ways teachers pass information on to their students. So what makes a lecture good? How can you work toward becoming a more effective lecturer? What kinds of mistakes do lecturers commonly make-and how can you avoid them? Find the answers here....

32 min
Teaching with PowerPoint

08: Teaching with PowerPoint

The 21st-century classroom is filled with all manner of technological teaching aids, yet it's easy for these technologies to be misused and overused. With PowerPoint as your example, focus on tips for using technology to complement, not control, your teaching style....

32 min
Demonstrations, Old and New

09: Demonstrations, Old and New

From PowerPoint, move on to other technologies that can both enhance and detract from your lectures. This lecture reveals the pros and cons of using older "technologies"-like blackboards, whiteboards, and in-class demonstrations-and more recent technologies such as clickers, e-mail, and podcasts....

30 min
Teaching the Critical Skills

10: Teaching the Critical Skills

Teachers must resist the assumption that their students know how to read critically. Here, Professor Allitt stresses the importance of having your students read aloud as a way to develop and enhance their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, tone, and other components essential to analytical reading....

33 min
Engaging with Discussion, Part 1

11: Engaging with Discussion, Part 1

Equally as important as critical reading skills are critical speaking skills. In the first of two lectures on this subject, discover how to make the most of your seminars with helpful ways to coax participation in your classroom, including calling on quiet students and encouraging your students to ask plenty of questions....

32 min
Engaging with Discussion, Part 2

12: Engaging with Discussion, Part 2

Watch class discussions in action and learn how small groups can strengthen your students' abilities to communicate intellectually; how the special type of seminar known as the case method can prepare your students for the professional world; and the vital role of humor in turning your seminar into a productive environment....

31 min
Cogent Thinking and Effective Writing

13: Cogent Thinking and Effective Writing

A great weakness in American education and, consequently, in business is students' writing. Improve the way your students write with Professor Allitt's suggestions for assignments and exercises, including assigning papers with sentences of 10 words or fewer (to stress the merits of precision), 100- and 500-word summaries (to test students' ability to isolate issues in a text), and more exercises....

32 min
Teaching Revision and Editing

14: Teaching Revision and Editing

Continue your exploration of how to encourage and strengthen student writing with pointed advice on editing drafts (such as looking out for verb-tense inconsistency), rewriting papers (such as reading drafts aloud), and practicing more writing (such as having students keep a journal)....

35 min
Coaching Students on Presentation Skills

15: Coaching Students on Presentation Skills

Presentations, delivered by either one student or a group of students, are a part of nearly every teacher's classroom. So what makes a presentation so bad? More important, what can you do as a teacher to improve the quality of your students' presentations? Discover the answers to these questions here....

31 min
One-on-One Teaching

16: One-on-One Teaching

Research shows that one-on-one contact between teachers and their students has benefits for both parties. Here, watch two instances of Professor Allitt interacting with individual students and witness just how effective and valuable this kind of teaching experience really is....

29 min
The Learner's Perspective

17: The Learner's Perspective

Learn from students themselves their perspectives and opinions on the art and craft of teaching. What do they want from a teacher? What responsibilities do they take for their successes and failures in the classroom? How do they think teaching could be improved?...

30 min
Exams, Evaluation, and Feedback

18: Exams, Evaluation, and Feedback

In this lecture, Professor Allitt reveals several approaches you can take to creating, administering, and grading exams-whether multiple-choice, short answer, or even oral tests. Plus, investigate ways to deal with cheating and plagiarism and how to approach-and learn from-your students' evaluations of your class....

33 min
Maintaining Your Enthusiasm

19: Maintaining Your Enthusiasm

When you've taught for quite a while, it can be easy to lose enthusiasm for your profession and your subject. But research shows that students respond favorably to enthusiastic teachers. Here, learn how to reinvigorate your teaching by tapping into new research in your field and experimenting with team teaching....

29 min
Managing the Challenges of Teaching

20: Managing the Challenges of Teaching

Teaching is not easy-especially for beginners. This lecture exposes strategies for maintaining your confidence in common challenging teaching situations, such as when you have a large course load or when you have to teach outside of your area of expertise....

31 min
Creativity and Innovation

21: Creativity and Innovation

Just as important as maintaining enthusiasm for your job is instilling in your classes a sense of the unexpected. Look at some valuable techniques for keeping your teaching style interesting and innovative, and discover why these techniques can be more effective when they take advantage of your location or the special circumstances of the moment....

32 min
Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths

22: Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths

Education is for everybody. A good teacher makes all the difference. You should always uphold your students' self-esteem. The best teachers work at the most prestigious colleges and universities. Professor Allitt dispels these and other common-and sometimes controversial-illusions about teaching and American education....

27 min
The Anatomy of a Great Teacher

23: The Anatomy of a Great Teacher

Listen to professors describe their lives and learn the answer to one of the most important questions in this course: What makes a good teacher great? Some common characteristics of great teachers that you explore include thinking of teaching as a calling, not a job; being able to be self-critical; and constantly striving to improve....

30 min
Teaching and Civilization

24: Teaching and Civilization

Conclude the course by taking a giant leap back and viewing the art, craft, and importance of teaching from a historical perspective. Why is education so important to advancing civilization? Who are some of history's greatest teachers? And what is the moral and political significance of this honorable and ancient profession?...

30 min