Lecturing: Case Studies, Experience And Practice

Editor(s) Edwards H., Smith B. & Webb G.
Publisher Kogan Page
Published 2001
Pages 168
Price 22.99
ISBN 0749435194
Reviewed by Dr Duncan Reavey
University College of Chichester
Review published 17 November 2005

I collected this book from my in-tray during one of my lectures. Yes, I had left my 100+ students working on a short, small group task and felt they would do it more creatively with me out of the room. So when I opened the book for the first time and read of some other creative ways of using a lecture slot, I got that warm feeling of ‘I'm doing that already!’ Perhaps that’s the feeling most of us get when we see a
book with this title. A closer look, however, and I guarantee any of us would find all kinds of ideas we could use and comments on which we could reflect.

My students had a couple of minutes to go on their task, so I opened the book at random. It opened at a chapter titled ‘I fell asleep in my own lecture.’ Like the rest of the chapters, it is a case study of the author’s own experiences presented in an engaging way with a good variety of messages, not just to take away but to apply in our own work. ‘The Smart Student’, ‘Playing the Crowded House’, ‘This Is All Irrelevant’, ‘The Mobile Phone’, ‘We Might Have to Learn It But We Shouldn’t Have To Think About It’, ‘Getting Sacked’. These are among the 17 chapters each by a different ‘case reporter’ (their words) that deserve a read both by new lecturers and by those who’ve been around a while. For those new to teaching, the book fills a gap that is often left unfilled given the weak inductions to learning and teaching in HE that seem to be the norm in Teacher Education departments. For the more experienced, this is a jolt that reminds us to continue, continue, continue to reflect, reflect, reflect and respond, respond, respond if we are to make lectures a worthwhile time for our students - and satisfying, even exciting, for us.

The editors appeal to readers, to ‘play the game’ by reading each chapter in parts and reflecting on each part before moving on to the next. Can I add a further plea? We all need to play the (bigger) game by finding time to reflect using a book like this to help.