Five C's for teaching

Use connectedness, conversation, curiosity, consideration, and community and culture to create a successful learning environment.


  • Help students make personal/social networks between students.
  • Make connections between own perspective, academic theory and practice/the real world.
  • Use relevant examples, current examples, and recent readings.
  • Do repetitions/reinforcements: repeated in different ways to ground it.
  • Connect with the students: use examples that relate to students' lives and look for common ground; popular media, sports, student life. But don't force it—be yourself.


  • Make the class ‘dialogic’. Make it like a conversation, not a lecture. Make it inclusive.
  • Have variety: sometimes monologue, two way, or multi-way exchanges.
  • Break down barriers by relinquishing control.
  • Invest time in questions.
  • Don't talk down to students.


  • Critical thinking, teaching ways of thinking, not what to think.
  • Allow space for creative and original thinking.
  • Make it relevant to real work situations and ‘light up’ pathways to becoming reflective practitioners.
  • Keep readings, theories and examples up to date.
  • Life learning.


  • Respect students and their diversity.
  • Be aware of their lives and the pressures they are under.
  • Be aware of how intimidating we can be, and of the newness of it all.
  • Be aware of the loneliness in a big class and alienation at university.


  • Each class develops its own culture.
  • Create the atmosphere that you want.
  • Teach to your audience: each class of students is different.
  • The first class sets the scene: go through the teacher-student relationship and get an agreement/contract.