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Topic: Physics Education Research Mentioned in Article About Obama
Higher Ed Proposals

Replies: 1   Last Post: Aug 28, 2013 2:39 PM

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Posts: 8,846
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Physics Education Research Mentioned in Article About Obama Higher Ed Proposals
Posted: Aug 28, 2013 2:39 PM
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Richard Hake Posted: Aug 28, 2013 11:19 AM

"People have nowadays . . . got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. Lectures were once useful; but now, when we can all read, and books
are so numerous, lectures are unnecessary. "
- Samuel Johnson according to James Boswell (1791) [Samuel Johnson doubtless rolls in his grave at the thought that in the 21st Century *videos* are evidently replacing *reading*.]

In the matter of the utility of lectures, Richard Hake and Samuel Johnson seem to have hit the nail on the head. Certainly in mathematics, and in the sciences I would bet, it is famously impossible to get students to read their textbooks. This seems understandable since it has been estimated that not more than 20% of the population can read at a high enough level to make sense of college level writing. The 20% figure also fully explains why every attempt to make textbooks more approachable and more interesting has failed to produce the desired result.

In an age when many more than 20% of the population attend post-secondary education, it is a foregone conclusion that the lecture is here to stay. And, dare I say it, it is clear that the "flipped classroom" has no future.


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