Book Reviews

Book by: Jarvis, Peter. (Ed.)
Review by: Michelle M. White
Director of Academic Advisement
Department of Academic and Student Development
Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Teaching, like learning, is a basic human activity. As both a skill and vocation, teaching is central to those who educate as well as those who are educated. Text contributors, university faculty from the United Kingdom, emphasize the changing practice of teaching. Teaching is no longer conceived as lecturing a class; instead it has changed dramatically due to the dominant globalization forces of social change.  Education is now viewed as a lifelong process, one that draws learners at all points in their careers.

As the title suggests, the book was created to help readers understand the techniques, theories and methodology of teaching. The book concerns itself with the issues that under gird “interpersonal pedagogy” and the broad and multi-disciplinary perspectives associated with it. Different approaches to teaching have different functions. To that end, the book is divided into three parts: an examination of the theoretical issues underlying teaching e.g., changing environment and ethics; an exploration of teaching methodology, e.g., didactic, experimental and mentoring; and a consideration of learning assessment issues.

Of particular interest is the chapter on mentoring, a learning method that has recently re-emerged to play a fundamental role in the enhancement of learning. Authors discuss issues related to the role of mentoring and provide mentoring models that can be used and adapted within teaching and learning. The chapter focuses on the variety of mentor roles and the differing context in which those roles may be implemented. The authors explore mentoring as a tool to learn the ethics, rules and skills of a given community, whether this be teaching, advising or work-based skills. They highlight mentoring as a powerful tool for professional development and a means to encourage systematic, critical reflection. The authors maintain that mentoring facilitates the acquisition of powerful tools that can also include student learning of mentor knowledge.

The challenge in higher education is to bring together teaching and learning theories that take into account the individual and collective needs of the students, the need for different forms of knowledge, and how these might be facilitated. This well-written book accomplishes this with information and techniques teachers and advisors can effectively use to understand themselves, a needed skill if we are to understand those whom we are privileged to teach and advise. I would recommend the book as a valuable resource to teachers and advisors interested in the “art” of good teaching and advising within higher education.


The theory & practice of teaching. (2002). Book by Jarvis, Peter. (Ed.). Review by Michelle M. White. Herndon, VA: Stylus Publishing, LC. 210 pp. Price $43.93 ISBN # 0-7494-3416-4.

BkRev#512. Jarvis, Peter. (Ed.). (2002). The theory & practice of teaching. Herndon, VA: Stylus Publishing, LC, 210 pp. ISBN # 0-7494-3416-4, to order see their web Price $43.93
BkRev#512. Jarvis, Peter. (Ed.). (2002). The theory & practice of teaching. Herndon, VA: Stylus Publishing, LC, 210 pp. ISBN # 0-7494-3416-4, to order see their web Price $43.93
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