Twilight of the lecture

It would be worth the time for all involved in the education system to read the article from Harvard Magazine, Twilight of the Lecture.

There is a lot to write about here.

The topic works with what I have been thinking a lot about today. I teach Geography 12. I was mentioning to a colleague today that I was struggling with my desire to get students working on self-directed, project based curriculum. However, I also think they have to do the systematic learning of the language and concepts of Geography 12. They have to work through the text and learn information before they can apply it.

I had some reinforcement for that struggle today.

Here are some ideas I gleaned from my reading today – some of the ideas are from the article, some of what I write is my own spin or extention:

1. Application of knowledge, and the synthesis and transformation of thinking must be the goal. If the curriculum is too large, students and educators will not have time to get to the crucial steps.

2. Learning is social. For the best results, students need to be together in the room, talking to each other. The teachers are the ones who will learn. They all need to be teachers. From the article:

3. They need to be together in the room for best results, because then the educator is able to circulate, pick up on misconceptions, extend thinking, and react to ‘teachable moments’. It is also how a teacher figures out what to teach next. Yes, DL is a reality. However, students and teachers together is optimal. I know; some digital formats can help educators and students connect with each other.

4. Students are still required to study the lecture notes. They have to tackle the information on their own and come to class with questions. We have to ensure students have the skills to approach text on their own. It must be taught. We also have to recognize, in my school anyway, that many students won’t do homework, or can’t do homework, don’t have access to the internet. Finding some strategies for this is critical.

5. Students need access to assistive technology of all kinds. One of the upsides of lectures is that people who struggle with reading can still have access to the information.

6. We can expect resistance from students (and parents). This will take some weaning and convincing. From the article, below:

7. We have to know an artist when we see one, as I previously blogged.

There are some seriously good teaching strategies in this Harvard Magazine article. Please go read it!