Persellin co-authors book on improving teaching methods

Dianne Persellin, professor of music education, has co-authored a recently published book titled “A Concise Guide to Improving Student Learning: Six Evidence-Based Principles and How To Apply Them.”

She has authored and co-authored numerous other publications, many also about education and methods of teaching and learning.

Persellin and her co-author Mary Daniels, a professor of Spanish at Centre College, have formed a partnership in which they work to educate teachers. The two have also worked together at the Associated Colleges of the South summer teaching workshop. The idea for the book came from their work together at this workshop.

“The guidebook covers topics such as the distinction between expert and novice learners, memory and prior learning,” Persellin said. “We share teaching principles, applications and related strategies. The applications include examples from the sciences, humanities and arts.”

The book aims to guide those who may be experts in a particular field—but not experts in the fields of teaching and learning styles—communicate their knowledge with students using effective teaching methods.

“The book is intended for faculty who are interested in engaging their students and developing deep and lasting learning but don’t have the time to immerse themselves in the scholarship of teaching and learning,” Persellin said.

While Persellin’s book was originally intended for college professors, it has also attracted the attention of high school and middle school educators. During the research process, the authors narrowed their findings down to six main principles.

“We are striving to bridge the gap between what we know about students’s learning and how we teach,” Persellin said. “We read a lot of books and studies and found 15 main principles, then narrowed those down to six.”

Persellin says that the editor has invited the two co-authors to write a series of similar guidebooks in the future.