Wands or Quills? Lessons in Pedagogy from Harry Potter

Melissa Carol Johnson

Abstract


This essay is grounded in the scholarship of teaching and learning and will focus specifically on the ways in which the Harry Potter books highlight the diversity of learning and teaching styles; privilege active experiential learning and problem solving over passive rote learning; and emphasize the benefits of collaboration over competition. Through analysis of the teaching styles and pedagogy of Professors Binns, Umbridge, Snape, Lupin, and Sprout, I illustrate that a pedagogical approach such as active learning is only successful when coupled with a supportive, non-threatening, cooperative learning environment in which critical thinking and risk-taking are encouraged and rewarded.

Keywords


Teaching and learning, active learning, critical thinking

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