Teaching in view of Bangladeshi-Canadian professor Dr Serajul Islam
Muhammad Ali Bukhari from Toronto writes for DOT
A distinguished Bangladeshi-Canadian professor Dr. Syed Serajul Islam, who served as the Chairman of Department of Political Science in Lakehead University, a top 10 university in Canada has shared his ideas on how to be a good teacher.
He said, “University teaching is a job unlike any other and there is an obligation to train the next generation and encourage them with hope, for they are the future builders of a nation.”
He is the recipient of the Lakehead University Contribution to Teaching Award in 2005, Distinguished Researcher Award in 2008, and Distinguished Instructor Award in 2009, and earlier adjudged as one of the top best 38 Lecturers in all Universities and Colleges in the Province of Ontario in 2008. Also, a specialist in International Politics and International Law, South and Southeast Asian Politics, Foreign Policies of Japan, China, and India, Third World Politics, and International Political Economy. He has lived and worked in many countries around the world including the United States, Bangladesh, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
He further added that, the teacher-student relationship is a two-way relationship, where the teacher serves as a role model. Attitude is everything. He said, “It is important for students to learn an attitude to the material and the qualities of personhood are as important, if not more important, than scholarship.”
His 10 teaching tips are as follows: Give a clear and detailed course outline that does not change; don’t list irrelevant books to make a course impressive; outline vital questions, which can engage a student with the material effectively; find out the students’ depth of knowledge on the subject and then target your lecture appropriately; show your passion through using anecdotes and personal stories to illustrate your points with humour for a mental break; exhibit your command of the subject; focus on learner outcomes in every lecture, which enable them to remember 10 years from now; engage and encourage students in discussion about every aspect of teaching; in a three-hour class, present the lecture in first hour and use rest two hours in discussion and student presentations, which ensures that all students have read the material before class begins by asking one student, at random, to summarize the assigned reading, and PowerPoint presentations should be used only if it benefits the students (i.e. to show visual materials such as maps, charts, and illustrations) and only when they know the material well. Generally, students don’t listen well when they are reading Power Point slides.