1 General principles of teaching  
2 Teaching equations


Miller, George A. "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information." Psychological Review 63 (1956): 81-97.

Benezet experiment

Parts I and III are required. Part II is optional.

Benezet, L. P. "The Teaching of Arithmetic I: The Story of an Experiment." Journal of the National Education 24, no. 8 (November 1935): 241-244. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

———. "The Teaching of Arithmetic II: The Story of an Experiment." Journal of the National Education 24, no. 9 (December 1935): 301-303. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

———. "The Teaching of Arithmetic III: The Story of an Experiment." Journal of the National Education 25, no. 1 (January 1936): 7-8. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

3 Taking account of misconceptions; avoid rote learning

Rote learning and misconceptions in mathematics

Buy at Amazon Ma, Liping. Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers' Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1999, Introduction, chapters 3 and 5. ISBN: 9780805829099.

Probability and statistics

Gigerenzer, Greg, Wolfgang Gaissmaier, Elke Kurz-Milcke, Lisa M. Schwartz, and Steven Woloshin. "Helping Doctors and Patients Make Sense of Health Statistics." Psychological Science in the Public Interest 8, no. 2 (November 2007): 53-96.


Reif, Frederick. "Millikan Lecture 1994: Understanding and Teaching Important Scientific Thought Processes." American Journal of Physics 63, no. 1 (January 1995): 17-32.

4 Designing homework and exam problems

The problem with problems (to be read after class)

Mazur, Eric. "The Problem with Problems." Optics and Photonics News (June 1996): 59-60.

5 Course design

They're not dumb, they're different

Buy at Amazon Tobias, Sheila. They're Not Dumb, They're Different: Stalking the Second Tier. Tucson, AZ: Research Corporation, 1994, pp. 19-32. ISBN: 9780963350404.

Design-oriented analysis

Middlebrook, R. David. "Methods of Design-Oriented Analysis: Low Entropy Expressions." In New Approaches to Undergraduate Education IV, Santa Barbara, July 26-31, 1992 Conference Proceedings. Santa Barbara, CA, 1992.

Backward design

Buy at Amazon Wiggins, Grant P., and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1998, pp. 5-7, 13-16, 18-19, 22, 38-55, 146, 151, 189-190, and 257. ISBN: 9780871203137.

6 Teaching interactively in large and small groups

The 2 sigma problem

Bloom, Benjamin S. "The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring." Educational Researcher 13, no. 6 (June-July 1984): 4-16.

Reading memos

Taylor, Edwin. "Guest Comment: Only the Student Knows." American Journal of Physics 60, no. 3 (March 1992): 201-202.

Lecture system

Morrison, Robert T. "The Lecture System in Teaching Science." Undergraduate Education in Chemistry and Physics (October 18-19, 1985): 50-58.

7 Lecture planning and performing

Walter Lewin teaching physics

8.01 lectures are required; 8.02 lectures are optional.

8.01 Physics I: Classical Mechanics, Fall 1999

8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2002
8 Teaching with blackboards and slides

Edward Tufte's analysis of powerpoint-based communication

PowerPoint Does Rocket Science—and Better Techniques for Technical Reports

Jean-Luc doumont on slides

Doumont, Jean-Luc. "The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Slides Are Not All Evil." Technical Communication-Humanities Module 52, no. 1 (February 2005): 64-70.

9 Political barriers to educational change

Tactics for change

Halfman, Robert L., M. L. A. MacVicar, W. T. Martin, Edwin F. Taylor, and Jerrold R. Zacharias. "Tactics for Change." Occasional Paper No. 11 of the Education Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Education and the rise of the corporate state

Buy at Amazon Spring, Joel H. Education and the Rise of the Corporate State. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1972, pp. xi-xiii. ISBN: 9780807031742.

Schooled to order

Buy at Amazon Nasaw, David. Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1979, pp. 44-47 and 52-53. ISBN: 9780195025293.

Only for my kid

Kohn, Alfie. "Only for My Kid: How Privileged Parents Undermine School Reform." Phi Delta Kappan 79, no. 8 (April 1998): 568-577.

Against competition

Kohn, Alfie. "The Case Against Competition." Working Mother, September 1987.

10 Course summary and your questions