William Buskist


Mastering the Craft of Teaching
William Buskist, Auburn University
In their quest to become the best possible teachers they can become, many dedicated college and university instructors ponder the question of what makes teachers good or even excellent at their craft. Then, based on the answers they discover, they adjust their teaching accordingly. Fortunately, over the past decade, researchers have uncovered empirically-based answers to this question. In this talk, I will discuss the results of several recent studies of excellence in teaching, and highlight the small set of qualities and behaviors that all master teachers appear to share. Based on these findings, I will offer several recommendations for how all college and university instructors might improve their teaching, and as result, enhance the quality of their students’ learning.

Brief Biographical Summary


William Buskist is the Distinguished Professor in the Teaching of Psychology and at Auburn University and a Faculty Fellow at Auburn’s Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. He serves as the Section Editor for The Generalist’s Corner section of Teaching of Psychology and as a member of the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP) planning committee. Together with Steve Davis, he has edited two volumes on the teaching of psychology: The Teaching of Psychology: Essays in Honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie and Charles L. Brewer (Erlbaum, 2003) and The Handbook of the Teaching of Psychology (Blackwell, 2005) and together with Barry Perlman and Lee McCann, he has edited Voices of Experience: Memorable Talks from the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (American Psychological Society, 2005). He has published over 30 books and articles on the teaching of psychology. In 2005, he was a co-recipient (with Leanne Lamke) of Auburn University’s highest teaching honor, The Gerald and Emily Leischuck Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, he was the American Psychological Association’s (APA) 2005 Harry Kirke Wolfe lecturer. He also is a recipient of the 2000 Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from the Society of the Teaching of Psychology (STP). He is a Fellow of APA Divisions 1 (General Psychology) and 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology). His proudest career achievement is having five of his graduate students honored with national teaching awards.