Colloquium Today

An invitation from Dr. David Yonutas:

The College’s first colloquium for the year on best teaching practices will be held in P-160 today, Jan. 24, from 2-3 p.m.

On New Year’s Day, National Public Radio aired a presentation entitled “Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool” that focused on research indicating that learning outcomes in physics courses were suboptimal if a lecture approach was used, compared to outcomes in courses that employed active learning strategies and guided discussions.

After reading the article, I reviewed the comments that NPR listeners posted regarding the story. One posting by Greg Box referred to an article by Bruce G. Charlton, “Lectures are an effective teaching method because they exploit human evolved ‘human nature’ to improve learning,” that he believed presented an argument that supported lectures as a viable teaching tool.

In addition, I recently came across an article entitled “What Does It Mean To Be an Academic?” by Nigel Thrift that appeared in the Chronicle for Higher Education. The author made a number of points that related to the NPR presentation and effective teaching practices. I would like to use these articles as starting points for this colloquium.

Please read these three articles before attending if possible – copies will NOT be available at the colloquium.

This should prove to be a fascinating (and potentially lively) discussion so I hope you can attend!