Date: Jul 2, 1995 3:25 AM
Subject: Fwd: Re: Re: lecturing
Subj: Re: Re: lecturing
Date: 95-07-01 18:02:08 EDT
Interesting thoughts from Tonya of Iowa. I don't think I disagree strongly
with the idea behind what she says; education requires "active" involvement
by students, even as they sit in their seats and say absolutely nothing.
Send this on to Tonya, if you would. Because I would be interested in her
perceptions of the following views:
I imagine it has always been a problem for teachers to get students involved,
actively, in the learning process. However I disagree that the most
effective learning cannot take place in a predominantly lecture setting where
the students (on the surface) merely sit and take notes.
First, as you earlier said, a good teacher will throw in "question" sessions
during the course of the lecture to involve the students and see if the
message of the lecture is registering. Just doing that causes students whose
background is such that they are interested in learning, to be "on their
toes" mentally during the lecture.
I guess I keep coming back to the notion that education only works if
students are of a frame of mind to realize that they have a good deal of
responsibility for their own education in the sense that they should sit and
pay attention in lectures, taking notes and actively asking questions (if
only silently to themselves).
A good teacher will accomodate students so motivated. I just think that
things like cooperative group education, multi-media formats and the like are
attempts by desperate teachers to prod students, otherwise unwilling to take
responsibility for their education, to do so.
To my way of thinking it goes back to the negative societal forces impacting
kids today that make them more passive, with a consequently diminised sense
or understanding of the incredible importance of taking responsibility for
learning what is being taught them. Trying to come up with new ways to
motivate children, I think, only proves my point.
Why is it necesssary to do this today, when at earlier times (and not that
long ago) in our society it was not necessary? Again, go back to my last e
mail (perhaps that should be sent to Tonya as well). Apparent failures in
our educational system over the last two decades is not reasonably explained
by sudden and drastic changes in human genetics. Kids haven't changed, but
what they are exposed to before (and during) the time they start their formal
education unquestionably has.
It is these changes and their impact upon young childre in our society, I
believe, that have prompted good teachers, such as Tonya, to search for
innovative ways to "reach" children today. But again, test results
nationwide appear to indicate that these certainly understandable innovative
educational "reforms" are simply not working. Why? Because they don't
address the problem which is beyond, unfortunately, the control of a single
dedicated teacher in a classroom setting.