Pauses constitute a simple technique for enlivening and enhancing the effectiveness of lectures, or indeed of any form of instruction, whether a presentation or in an experiential setting. This book presents the evidence and rationale for breaking up lectures into shorter segments by using pauses to focus attention, reinforce key points, and review learning. It also provides 65 adaptable pause ideas to use at the opening of class, mid-way through, or as closers.
Starting with brain science research on attention span and cognitive load, Rice bases her book on two fundamental principles: shorter segments of instruction are better than longer ones, and learners who actively participate in instruction learn better than those who don’t.
Pausing helps teachers apply these principles and create student engagement without requiring major changes in their lesson plans. With careful planning, they can integrate pauses into learning sessions with ease and significantly reinforce student learning. They will also gain feedback on students’ comprehension.
Rice sets out the characteristics of good pauses, gives advice on how to plan them and how to introduce them to maximum effect. She provides compelling examples and concludes with a repertory of pauses readers can easily modify and apply to any discipline.
This book contains a compendium of strategies that any teacher can fruitfully use to reinforce learning, as well as a stepping stone to those seeking to transition to more active learning methods. It:
• Makes the case for using pauses
• Identifies the primary functions of pauses: focusing, refocusing, enhancing retention, or closing off the learning experience
• Provides research evidence from cognitive science and educational psychology
• Provides practical guidance for creating quick active learning breaks
• Distinguishes between starting, middle, and closing pauses
• Includes descriptions, with suggested applications, of 65 pauses
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About the Author
Gail Taylor Rice is a Professor in the School of Allied Health Professions at Loma Linda University, where she also directs faculty development. She has held professorial positions at three universities in seven schools and has graduate degrees in nursing, public health education, educational psychology and higher education administration and leadership. She serves on several editorial boards for professional journals and boards for professional societies. Gail has taught for the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Education in the Health Professions since 2010 and presents regularly for the annual USC Keck School of Medicine’s Innovations in Medical Education conference. She presents workshops, seminars, and courses for organizations and campuses worldwide and has published books and articles for peer reviewed journals on various topics relating to creative, effective teaching in higher education and health professions education.
Table of Contents
Part One: Benefits of Pausing
Introduction Hitting Pause
1) Why We Need to Pause
Part Two: Brain Science Support for the Pause
2) Pausing Supports Ideal Learning
3) Starting Pauses Focus Attention
4) Midpauses Refocus Attention
5) Closing Pauses Capture Learning
Part 3 Reasons for Pausing
6) Why Start with a Pause
7) Why Close with a Pause
About the Author