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Topic: beyond lecturing
Replies: 19   Last Post: Jul 10, 1995 4:09 PM

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Posts: 133
Registered: 12/6/04
beyond lecturing
Posted: Jun 30, 1995 2:48 PM
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Kent wrote:

<<How many teachers out there try to each their students to be self-sufficient?
Why can't the students be taught to read the book or books and learn the
subject on their own? I have found that students who learn to read and
understand the math text go way beyond the rest of the class. Has anyone
done much with this?>>>

I expect to see a flurry of replys with the concern that it looks like
you do not want to teach by doing the above. But... isn't that what learning
is all about, becoming self sufficient. I think the fear is that we might
teach ourselves out of a job if everyone could learn for themselves. The
reality is that we could then communicate on a much higher plain with our
students instead of being the givers of information. It also takes a lot of
time and patience to accomplish self sufficience in students.

As an example I write a letter to my students before classes start and
suggest they get the text and start reading the first chapter or two and
work the problems. I try to be humorous and explain that I am not crazy but
they may be for taking my class. I discuss they group idea a little bit and
ask them to call me at home or school if they are concerned about my letter.
I discuss the reason for trying the material before class and that this is
the procedure I will try to use. I also try to make it clear that they
do not need to become experts before class but that if the can ask good
questions based on their homework then they will have a better chance to
know the material by the end of class. If they come in cold they will leave
only luke warm.

When I first did this I was terrified they would all drop the class. Who
ever gets a letter from the teacher before school starts. To my relief and
delight they loved it. Even though I was directiong them to get to work they
liked the idea that I cared enough to contact them and offer help in
advance. I aslo described all the math help options at school in my letter.

Finally when they get to class they have higher expectations about what I
will do for them and if they look at the book they begin to get a better
feeling about themselves. The group process is not lesse-faire but total
involvement by the teacher.

I noticed this is my second post in a short time. Weonly have one line
into the computer so when I get a chance (usually around midnight) I feel a
need to maximize my use of the modem.

Thanks for all the interesting comments.

Ted Panitz

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