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Effective teachers place learners’ needs at the center of their efforts and find ways to bridge gaps between learning objectives and students’ prior knowledge and interests. Proven techniques to maximize student learning include encouraging questioning, provoking thought, connecting with students’ interests, expecting engagement, and communicating trust that students can succeed. Findings are presented from research on one-on-one instruction, making clear explanations, and giving effective feedback. The column concludes with guidelines for self-assessing librarians’ teaching effectiveness.


Published as Black, S., & Allen, J. D. (2019). Insights from Educational Psychology Part 10: Teacher Behaviors. The Reference Librarian, 60(3), 212–225.

Revised version published as Chapter 10 in Educational Psychology for Academic Librarians at



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