Todd Zakrajsek


Todd D. Zakrajsek, PHD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC - Chapel Hill. Todd was a tenured associate professor of psychology and built faculty development efforts at three universities before joining UNC. In addition to his work at UNC, providing resources for faculty on various topics related to teaching/learning, leadership, and scholarly activity, Todd serves on many educationally-related boards and work groups. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, College Teaching, Education in the Health Professions. Todd has consulted with organizations such as The American Council on Education (ACE), Lenovo Computer, Microsoft, Harvard, and the Gates Foundation. He has delivered keynote addresses and campus workshops at over 300 conferences and university campuses. Todd’s recently co-authored books include The New Science of Learning (2nd Ed) (2019); Dynamic Lecturing (2017); and Teaching for Learning (2015). Follow and connect with Todd on Twitter @toddzakrajsek and LinkedIn.


The Danger of Teaching the Way you Best Learn


There is an old adage that we “teach the way we were taught.” In this opening micro-plenary we will consider the troubling implications of this phrase. There have been a variety of engaged learning strategies regularly used in higher education for nearly half a century. So, when someone notes that faculty tend to lecture because, well, we “teach the way we are taught,” the statement ignores much of what is really happening. We will take a quick look at how the learning process subsequently becomes the teaching process. We will also change out the old statement for an updated one of “we teach the way we best learn,” and consider the dangers that surface as a result.