Is lecture really the thing that needs fixing? By Robert Talbert

Image: Automated Blackboard eraser…

Based on the headline and framing of the article, you might be tempted to think that the problem is that lecture is ineffective and that data might be able to fix it. But that’s not really it. (Nor is the problem that students are stupid and lazy, which you might get from the comment section.) Actually I think Samson himself nails the problem:

He is not shy about admitting where teaching falls on the list of priorities for most of his peers: a distant third, after publishing articles and landing research grants. “Instructors want to do the right thing,” he says. “They’re just busy guys, and they don’t sense that the bean-counting is heavily weighted toward the teaching.”

In that one quote, you get everything you need to know about why traditional instructor-centered teaching still reigns supreme on many university campuses, despite mountains of evidence, not to mention anecdotes, that interactive-engagement methods are far more effective. It all boils down to that one word:Priorities.


Here’s a bit of insight: Professors should also be teachers, colleges should make teaching a priority, teaching skills should be rewarded.

You know what they say about should… Still it’s a clean, simple, low tech solution a major problem in the college classroom. 


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