Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


If Learning Involves Risk-taking, Teaching Involves Trust-building

Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin

A publication of the Professionals in Organizational Development Network


"If Learning Involves Risk-taking, Teaching Involves Trust-building," by Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas-Austin:

Creative acts flourish best in an atmosphere which allows the creator to take risks (Adams, 1986). The premise of this article is that learning, like all other creative acts, involves taking risks. For many students, their lack of confidence and the evaluative nature of the classroom make risk-taking a difficult step. However, if learning involves risk-taking, then teaching involves trust-building, creating a class atmosphere which will give students confidence and opportunities enough to take risks. The question is how to build that trust. Let's examine some steps an instructor can take to accomplish that goal.