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Jenni Case’s speech on the art of teaching

by | Aug 25, 2014 | Higher Education

jennicase013“There are no silver bullets in education,” warns Jenni Case frankly. She would know. Jenni has dedicated her professional life to advancing education. With thirty-six articles on students’ learning experience, an international reputation, and multiple awards and accolades, she’s one of the countries most respected thought leaders.

Jenni works at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Chemical Engineering and received the UCT Distinguished Teacher’s award in 2007. In December 2013 Jenni won the HELTASA Leadership in Teaching Award. Her return address is a passionate and inspiring take on teaching and education. For anyone who shares her profession, or love of learning, this video is a must watch.

Here’s a snippet of some wisdom she had to share:


1. Centre on the knowledge. A conceptual understanding of the subject matter is what’s crucial. High end memorizing skills are not useful.

2. Work hard to accommodate as wide a range of student educational backgrounds in the class as possible. It’s the central challenge for university lecturers today. If students feel isolated and marginalized, if they feel that they are not supposed to be there, then learning is not going to happen.

3. Make a tremendous effort to learn student names.  Obviously student numbers will determine if this is possible; however do so to the greatest possible extent. Require students to introduce themselves in class. If possible get to know students. Knowing something about a student makes it easier to remember their names. It is a very radical thing to greet a student by name.

4. Intellectual challenge has to start in the lecture theater.

Passive transmission style sessions will not be as rewarding as lectures full of questions, discussions, and problem solving.

5. Set clear deliverables and have high expectations.

Expect students to work hard. Challenge them. It’s also important to give them their due praise.

For more, watch the full delivery on YouTube or below:

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