via American RadioWorks: Has the Lecture Outlived its Usefulness?

Dr. Tamara Fish, the CLASS TA supervisor in charge of the Core Teaching Fellows project, has passed along a link to a very interesting public radio documentary about recent efforts to rethink the lecture format taken for granted in so many college classrooms.  Well worth checking out.  Let us know: are you ready to give up lecturing?  What are the alternatives that you’d like to see more widely used?



One Comment on “via American RadioWorks: Has the Lecture Outlived its Usefulness?”

  1. Miranda Bennett says:

    I’m glad I took the time to listen to this story–fascinating! It hit on a number of the themes discussed in “How Learning Works,” such as the organization of knowledge, motivation for learning, and the key role of all kinds of connections. The University of Minnesota-Rochester sounds like an amazing experiment (although I confess I was a little annoyed by the producers’ blithe dismissal of the library, as if not having a physical space called “The Library” means the school has no library), and I think it may present a lesson about how deeply entrenched faculty, student, and administrative thinking about learning is. In order to do the really innovative and exciting things they wanted to do, the UMR people had to start a new university!

    This report also reminded me of an interesting thing I heard last weekend. While visiting family (in Minnesota, as it happens), I heard someone ask my sister-in-law’s teenage niece how her first week of school had gone. Her first response was that she really liked her math class (a teenage girl praising a math class–my ears perked up!). Why? Because the teacher has turned the usual approach upside down: students listen to recorded lectures as “homework” and solve traditional “homework” problems during class, with teacher and peer support. This sounds a lot like some of the approaches used by the “teaching physics” people in the documentary.

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