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Effective teaching

A colleague approached me earlier this week and said “Why are you so negative on classrooms? It’s really coming through in your writing. You’re a classroom teacher, after all.” Thought about that for a while. I’ve concluded that I’m not negative on classrooms – I’m negative on the inefficiencies and abuses found in many classrooms.

Too many instructors view teaching as lecturing…so, lectures become little more than a one-sided, egotistical spoutings of knowledge. No (or little) attempt is made to ensure learning has happened. This is not a function of classrooms – this is a function of poor teaching…and it is poor teaching I’m ranting against.

Only critical content should be presented via lecture and then explored through application and interaction. Learning occurs as a result of reflection on, and validation of, content…this process is most often initiated through interaction. In this model (and online), content is not less important. The difference is in how content is explored…and to a degree who provides it – teacher, student, or both.

Effective teaching requires equipping students with the skills and beliefs to be able to provide for their own learning.