Hoping for the Return of the Lecture


Here is a post from the Brainstorm blog at The Chronicle of Higher Education on a study that found there were some redeeming aspects of lecturing.  I am all for interactive classrooms and giving students agency in their learning experience, but, like many teaching techniques, it needs to be done well to be effective.  I took plenty of classes in grad school from professors who seldom lectured and my experiences were often underwhelming.  In most cases, I just wanted to hear the professor offer his or her opinion on a topic from time to time and when that didn’t happen I lost interest in what we were doing.  Plus, left unguided by a professor’s expertise, students of all ages can occasionally lead each other into misunderstandings of course materials (I’ve been in a few classes like this as well).  The whole students-teaching-students thing only works if all the students are doing the readings for a course, which, even in grad-level courses, is not something you can assume is happening.  So, here’s hoping for the return of the lecture (at least some of the time).

What do you think?  Should the lecture make a return?

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3 Comments

Filed under Grad School, Higher Education, Teaching

3 responses to “Hoping for the Return of the Lecture

  1. Laura T.

    Agreed – in moderation. Sometimes it feels like the blind leading the blind in some of our classes.

    Hey there’s this book I’ve been reading that I think you’d like: Graduate Study for the 21st Century. I dig it.

  2. Julia

    I agree with Laura. Sometimes a lecture can be extremely well done/interesting/motivating/eye opening, and sometimes it really falls flat. However, I would always prefer to listen to a flat lecture over a fellow student that a) doesn’t have any idea what they’re talking about, and/or b) completely changes the topic and forces the entire class to listen to a story about their grandmother/dog/kid/ferret/etc.

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