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Animal Science

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Translational Animal Science





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Great teachers have the extraordinary ability to inspire and motivate even those students who resist learning. The top educators are knowledgeable not only about the content of the course they are teaching but also of the information, literature, and practice of instructional delivery to their audience. Many exemplary educators have been profiled and studied; however, there is a paucity of information pertaining to how the top animal science teachers teach. The objective of this study was to identify and describe characteristics of award-winning animal science teachers. The inclusion criterion for selecting faculty was being bestowed an excellence in teaching award through their professional organization. Each teacher answered a series of questions about themselves, their students, and the class being taught. Lecture was captured using a digital all-inclusive camera and later analyzed for pedagogical trends and instructor–student interactions. Despite a variety of topics being taught by award-winning teachers, there were multiple trends emerging from their classrooms. Common events included reviewing highlights of previous lectures, distributing something to students, posing questions during class, and calling on students by name. Each teacher taught differently, but they all understood their audience; they grasped the subject matter and most importantly, they valued students learning. Collectively, these findings can be utilized and applied by animal science teachers in their own environments in an attempt to foster improved student learning through excellent teaching.


This article is published as Whitaker, Brian D., William R. Lamberson, Michael F. Smith, B. S. Walters, and C. R. Youngs. "What best animal science teachers do." Translational Animal Science 5, no. 1 (2021): txaa223. doi:10.1093/tas/txaa223.

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