Some subscribers to Math-Learn might be interested in a recent discussion-list post "Re: Culture Change for Learning" [Hake (2012)].
Q. Why should Math-Learn, concerned primarily with middle-school education, be interested in higher education?
A. Because most middle school teachers are products of higher education. The limited understanding and pedagogical skill of many teachers often reflects the passive-student-lecture methodology of higher education.
The abstract reads:
********************************************** ABSTRACT: Richard P. Keeling and Richard H. Hersh (2012) in their "Inside Higher Ed" article "Culture Change for Learning" at <http://bit.ly/Jly6Tj> wrote:
"America faces a crisis in higher learning. Too many college graduates are not prepared to think critically and creatively, speak and write cogently and clearly, solve problems, comprehend complex issues, accept responsibility and accountability, take the perspective of others, or meet the expectations of employers. . . . . .The core explanation is this: THE ACADEMY LACKS A SERIOUS CULTURE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING" [My CAPS]:
For those who may wish to dig deeper I have provided over 30 relevant academic references with over 60 hot links. **********************************************
". . . studies indicate that problem-based discussion, group study, and other forms of active learning produce greater gains in critical thinking than lectures, yet the lecture format is still the standard in most college classes, especially in large universities." Derek Bok (2005), former president of Harvard University, in "Are colleges failing? Higher Ed Needs New Lesson Plans" [Bok (2005)]
"The academic area is one of the most difficult areas to change in our society. We continue to use the same methods of instruction, particularly lectures, that have been used for hundreds of years. Little scientific research is done to test new approaches, and little systematic attention is given to the development of new methods. Universities that study many aspects of the world ignore the educational function in which they are engaging and from which a large part of their revenues are earned." Richard M. Cyert, former president of Carnegie Mellon University, quoted in Tuma & Reif (1980):
"Few faculty members have any awareness of the expanding knowledge about learning from psychology and cognitive science. Almost no one in the academy has mastered or used this knowledge base. One of my colleagues observed that if doctors used science the way college teachers do, they would still be trying to heal with leeches." James Duderstadt (2000), President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, in "A University for the 21st Century" [Duderstadt (2000)
"We have not been very systematic about our quest to improve teaching, even though we value it highly and frequently do well at it. I am struck, for example, by the lack of conversation about what pedagogy means, and what makes it successful. It is our profession, yet it is mysteriously absent from our professional discourse. Here we are, engaged in an activity that is vital to ourselves, our students, and our public - yet we speak of how to do it, if at all, as though it had no data base, lacked a history, and offered no innovative challenges." Donald Kennedy, former president of Stanford University, in his "Stanford President's Address: Stanford in Its Second Century" - see also "Academic Duty" [Kennedy (1999)].
REFERENCES [All URL's shortened by <http://bit.ly/> and accessed on 17 April 2012.]
Bok, D. 2005. "Are colleges failing? Higher Ed Needs New Lesson Plans," Boston Globe, 18 December, copied into the APPENDIX of Hake (2005).
Duderstadt, J.J. 2000. "A University for the 21st Century." Univ. of Michigan Press. publisher's information at <http://bit.ly/cvJ1yI>. Amazon.com information at <http://amzn.to/lxT8YU>, note the searchable "Look Inside" feature
Hake, R.R. 2005. "Are colleges failing?" AERA-L post of 19 Dec 2005 17:54:37-0800; online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/erBRGN>. The APPENDIX contains a copy of Bok (2005).
Hake, R.R. 2012. ""Re: Culture Change for Learning," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at <http://bit.ly/HJ2zLf>. Post of 16 Apr 2012 14:21:25-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are also being transmitted to several discussion lists and are on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at <http://bit.ly/IurB23> with a provision for comments.