Science Finds a Better Way to Teach Science

After doing some much-needed research, cognitive scienctists are suggesting a new way to boost students’ lagging scores: Get rid of the hallowed (and stultifying) classroom lecture

From my Impatient Futurist column in the the December 2011 issue of Discover

Teaching well is hard. I can cite my direct observations of the hundreds of victims of my occasional efforts over the years as a teacher of physics and writing. As I have stood lecturing brilliantly to a few dozen purportedly eager collegians, it has not escaped my attention that at any one time only three or four seem awake enough to keep up with their text messaging.
   Clearly the problem is not the content or presentation style of my lecturing, which, as I may have neglected to mention, is brilliant, or so I was once assured by a student who stayed after class to ask for a sixth extension on an assignment. Then again, from what I recall of my college days, I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat at my professors’ lectures, either. And most of my fellow lecturers don’t report much different. Could the problem be with the nature of lecturing itself?…read more

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One thought on “Science Finds a Better Way to Teach Science

  1. vernanorth says:

    I"m shocked by this article. Walk into any kindergarten class in America and the methods there are what college science teachers should be studying. The info mentioned is routinely taught in elementary ed. methods courses and scientists are learning about this like its a discovery worthy of a Nobel prize. I've been through college and I teach 6th grade and I've seen good and bad teaching from both ends. Lecturing is the worst teaching method that could be used. I use the student response systems they speak about in the article and they are fantastic…there is so much to the art of teaching that professors miss. The steps it takes to become a professor needs to be revamped and revamped quickly for us to improve the way we produce college graduates!!!!!

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