Friday, 23 May 2014

A new look at how to teach and learn

Two interesting recent articles in Campus Review:
The comment from Igor Bray on the second article demanded a response.

The 2014 PNAS article Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics is most relevant to this topic, as it proves that "chalk-and-talk" is ineffective. Discussion on this meta-analysis in Science quotes Eric Mazur—a physicist at Harvard University who has campaigned against stale lecturing techniques for 27 years—and the article by John Ross in The Australian's Higher Education section this week quotes the Physics Nobel laureate Carl Wieman who says 
Although more effective teaching methods have been overwhelmingly demonstrated, most STEM (science, technology, ­engineering and mathematics) courses are taught by lectures.
It is clear that high profile physicists are well aware of the failings of "chalk-and-talk" and are promoting active learning instead.

Update: Active learning helps students more than lectures by John Ross reprises this theme and cites Teaching methods comparison in a large calculus class by Code et al.

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