Mr. Edison says
That the Radio will supplant the teacher
Already one may learn languages by means of Victrola records.
The moving picture will visualize
What the radio fails to get across.
Teachers will be relegated to the backwoods,
And long-haired women;
Or, perhaps shown in museums.
Education will become a matter of pressing the button.
–Written in the 1920s by Agatha Brown, Teacher as cited by Larry Cuban in Teachers and Machines
I came across this great poem while searching for reading material for a summer class and I thought it was worth sharing.
While you don’t hear very many teachers complaining about Mr. Edison anymore, I think more than a few would still lament the forces outside of their classroom that are trying to make teaching into a technical field where teachers merely administer the approved curriculum…
I recently came across a blog post by Larry Cuban that I wanted to pass on. In an age when public discourse about education is overwhelmed by perspectives that oversimplify or undervalue teaching, it is always refreshing to come across a discussion that acknowledges its complexity. Check out more of Larry Cuban’s blog here. Happy Friday!
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?