The book is aimed more at those teaching in the humanities and similar areas than those of us teaching in, say, a school of business or professional school. Also, the author usually assumes that the students at the college level are highly motivated and bright. Teachers and students at Harvard and similar "reach" schools are mentioned frequently; whereas, community colleges and other higher education centers that admit basically everyone aren't really addressed. Those of us teaching at a "safety school" would like some pointers that are aimed at teachers instructing those students who are less enthusiastic and intelligent.
This is still a good book that I would recommend even if you are not teaching philosophy at Harvard.
from the publisher:
What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.
The short answer is--it's not what teachers do, it's what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out--but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.
In stories both humorous and touching, Bain describes examples of ingenuity and compassion, of students' discoveries of new ideas and the depth of their own potential. What the Best College Teachers Do is a treasure trove of insight and inspiration for first-year teachers and seasoned educators.