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Mickey Kolis writes practical classroom guide for teachers

January 4, 2013
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Dr. Mickey Kolis

EAU CLAIRE — According to the National Education Association, the current average elementary school class in Wisconsin contains almost 21 students. With such large classes it's important for teachers to have resources available to help them provide effective learning environments. Dr. Mickey Kolis, associate professor of education studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and co-author Emily Bright Krusack provide that resource with their newly published book, "Powerful Ideas in Teaching: Creating Environments in which Students Want to Learn."

"Teaching is a skills-based profession and today's time-crunched teachers don't have the ability to theorize about one classroom issue at a time," Kolis said. "This book is really classroom based in that concepts described will work in a class today. Teachers can read a chapter and know that they can implement the concept in their classroom immediately. It emphasizes the practice of teaching, not just the theory of teaching."

The book, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, contains ideas from highly qualified teachers and is intended to serve as a classroom guidebook. It includes practical examples of effective strategies that are relevant in all classrooms. Each chapter in the book stands on its own and is intended to help teachers move forward with their skills.

For example, the first chapter teaches about self-reflection and understanding yourself to see how it affects your teaching.

"We teach who we are," Kolis said. "Thinking about and understanding what is important to you helps you determine if you are teaching as effectively as you could be. The chapter provides some practical ideas to think about."

Kolis has written another book, titled "Rethinking Teaching: Classroom Teachers as Collaborative Leaders," that will be published in March by Rowman & Littlefield. The book addresses the responsibility teachers have for developing relationships with and among students in their classrooms for effective learning.

For more information about "Powerful Ideas in Teaching: Creating Environments in which Students Want to Learn," contact Kolis at kolimw@uwec.edu.

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