Eric Mazur on new interactive teaching techniques. In 1990, after seven years of teaching at Harvard, Eric Mazur, now Balkanski professor of physics and applied physics, was delivering clear, polished lectures and demonstrations and getting high student evaluations for his introductory Physics 11 course, populated mainly by premed and engineering students who were successfully solving complicated problems.
Then he discovered that his success as a teacher “was a complete illusion, a house of cards.” The epiphany came via an article in the American Journal of Physics by Arizona State professor David Hestenes. He had devised a very simple test, couched in everyday language, to check students’ understanding of one of the most fundamental concepts of physics—force—and had administered it to thousands of undergraduates in the southwestern United States. Mazur tried the test on his own students. Some soul-searching followed. Serendipity provided the breakthrough he needed. “Here’s what happened,” he continues. “It’s not easy. Final Word: That college lecture is so yesterday. All I can say is this: It's a little late.
I read the other day that colleges and universities are looking into the idea that lectures, as a style of teaching, should either be abandoned or at least retooled. Could they not have thought about this, say, about 40 years ago? Most of us can remember sitting through lectures we thought would never end. We also can recall the professor who not only didn't communicate very well but didn't articulate very well, either. What is he saying? One professor quoted in this lectures-are-passe article even confessed that just because teachers say something at the front of the classroom doesn't mean students learn. She then went on to say that learning happens "in the student's mind.
" I'm not sure how much I learned in college, if anything at all. The debate about the worthiness of college never ends. As for this lecture thing, it appears students today want to be involved. Using new technologies, students can now make a sandwich while T. I'm sorry. Don’t Lecture Me: Rethinking How College Students Learn. Flickr:AllHails At the star-studded Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching (HILT) event earlier this month, where professors gathered to discuss innovative strategies for learning and teaching, Harvard’s professor Eric Mazur gave a talk on the benefits of practicing peer instruction in class, rather than the traditional lecture.
The idea is getting traction. Here’s more about the practice. Perspectives on Instruction: Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism. Lesson Plan – Introducing Admin to 21st C Skills. It is not uncommon for me to read comments on Twitter that characterize school administrators as a group who need to get more in touch with 21st century learning.
Whether it is a comment about how senior administration is blocking specific online sites or resources, how school leaders need to provide leadership and role model the use of technology, or how school based administrators are out of touch with social media and its uses in education, there certainly is a tone indicating that administrators needing to ‘get on board’. Although I have blogged in the past that I don’t find comments that single out one group to be particularly useful (“No Us vs. Them–Just Us”), I agree that there needs to be more of us in administration that are in tune with 21st century skills.
In our school district, we are continuing to learn more about 21st century, personalized learning. Like any district, we are constantly looking for ways to maximize the engagement of the learners in our classrooms. Teaching Strategies for Adult Learners. January 25, 2012 By: Brooks Doherty in Effective Teaching Strategies With the number of non-traditional students growing, many educators have discovered that adult learners are fundamentally different than their younger counterparts in many ways.
Yet, most instructors have been left to their own devices to figure out how best to reach these students who come to class with an entirely different set of challenges, demands and expectations, and generally at a much different level of maturity. How can instructors better accommodate and encourage adult student success in a classroom setting? Here are a number of ways to create a better environment for adult learners, no matter what the subject material. Treat them like the adults they are. Finally, beyond specific tactics, both Lisack and Leppert emphasize personal growth when working with adult students. A 1.5 Million Yen Secret (by Steven Herder. If you read Stories from the Front Lines of EFL , and thought, “I’d really like to be part of this project, but I’m not sure anyone would be interested in my story” then this post is for you.
Answering just a few important questions can give you the confidence to share your thoughts and ideas about teaching. It may take a bit of time, some reading and some effort, but anyone can do it. You can benefit yourself and all of us by taking this step in your own development as a teacher. Everyone has some great successes from the classroom to share, and all of us really do want to learn from you. Here’s one way to get started: I was a shy teacher for 16 years.