From the bestselling author of What the Best College Teachers Do, the story of a new breed of amazingly innovative courses that inspire students and improve learningDecades of research have produced profound insights into how student learning and motivation can be unleashed-and it’s not through technology or even the best of lectures. In Super Courses, education expert and bestselling author Ken Bain tells the fascinating story of enterprising college, graduate school, and high school teachers who are using evidence-based approaches to spark deeper levels of learning, critical thinking, and creativity-whether teaching online, in class, or in the field. Visiting schools across the United States as well as in China and Singapore, Bain, working with his longtime collaborator, Marsha Marshall Bain, uncovers super courses throughout the humanities and sciences.
At the University of Virginia, undergrads contemplate the big questions that drove Tolstoy-by working with juveniles at a maximum-security correctional facility. Harvard physics students learn about the universe not through lectures but from their peers in a class where even reading is a social event. And students at a Dallas high school use dance to develop growth mindsets-and many of them go on to top colleges, including Juilliard.
Bain defines these as super courses because they all use powerful researched-based elements to build a “natural critical learning environment” that fosters intrinsic motivation, self-directed learning, and self-reflective reasoning. Complete with sample syllabi, the book shows teachers how they can build their own super courses. The story of a hugely important breakthrough in education, Super Courses reveals how these classes can help students reach their full potential, equip them to lead happy and productive lives, and meet the world’s complex challenges.