Volume 52(4) - 2011 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2011.04162


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the phenomena of effective teaching for award winning faculty instructors at the University of Missouri. Nine university faculty members were selected to participate in this study based on their recognition as award winning instructors and by nomination from their respective college's academic dean. Each participant took part in a semi–structured interview with a member of the research team. After analysis, several themes were identified and fell into two broad categories dealing first with the act of effective teaching and second, the act of becoming and evolving as an effective teacher. One sub–theme was the need to focus on students. While all acknowledged the importance of course content, they noted that if the focus is not on the student, content is of little consequence. Additionally, sub–themes indicated that effective teaching required dialogue, was relevant and led to critical thinking and progression which caused students to think about content in a new way. Further, themes describing teaching as scholarship and teaching and learning being a process of growth emerged. These themes provide valuable insight into how award winning faculty instructors think about their teaching.

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