Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Changing Nature of the Teaching and Practice of Nature II

What about something called "student-directed learning?" I fear that might have connotations about the Montessori method. I am going to do an informal survey about just how active students are in some courses. I guess that I am troubled by the predominant "information providing" role of instructors in the college classroom.
I am also, of course, bothered by an extreme preoccupation with testing the knowledge of information (KoI), which is what now drives elementary and secondary education across the country. That (KoI) seems to be at the expense of the manipulation and handling of information. This kind of KoI testing/focus seems to be percolating up to the college/university level.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Changing Nature of the Teaching and Practice of Nature I

I have been bothered recently, and not been able to directly put my finger on anything concrete, about teaching and learning in the twenty-first century classroom. What has changed; what has not changed; what should be changing; what we should be thinking about. I am wondering what I need to be doing in my history classes, both in person and online, to prepare my students for the environment of the new century--and we are already a decade into the new century.
So much of the teaching that I am aware of at my college is still centered on providing students with information and expecting them to know that information. If you are wandering the halls and listening in on classes, in most cases, 80 to 90% of the time the voice that you will be hearing is the voice of the instructor. I'm not sure that is the way it should be.
What should students be doing (notice I used the verb "doing" not "learning") in the college classroom (or the virtual college classroom).
I'll come back to this.