Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool
The lecture is one of the oldest forms of education there is. "Before printing someone would read the books to everybody who would copy them down," says Joe Redish, a physics professor at the University of Maryland. But lecturing has never been an effective teaching technique and now that information is everywhere, some say it's a waste of time. Indeed, physicists have the data to prove it. When Eric Mazur began teaching physics at Harvard, he started out teaching the same way he had been taught. "I sort of projected my own experience, my own vision of learning and teaching — which is what my instructors had done to me. He loved to lecture. "For a long while, I thought I was doing a really, really good job," he says. But then in 1990, he came across articles written by David Hestenes, a physicist at Arizona State. Hestenes had a suspicion students were just memorizing the formulas and never really getting the concepts. The two balls reached the ground at the same time.
Related: Teaching Techniques