Feb 16

Teaching methodology dilemma: Is lecturing good or bad?

Teaching methodology dilemma: Is lecturing good or bad?

teach or notI have come across a nice paper by G.Gibbs Twenty terrible reasons for lecturing, SCED Occasional Paper No. 8, Birmingham. 1981, available here. The author discusses one by one the following statements:

1.1 "Lectures should last an hour. If I can stay awake for an hour, so can they".

1.2 "Its the only way to make sure the ground is covered".

1.3 "Lectures are the best way to get facts across".

1.4 "Lectures are the best way to get students to think".

1.5 "Lectures are inspirational: they improve students' attitudes towards the subject, and students like them".

1.6 "Lecturers make sure that students have a proper set of notes".

1.7 "Students are incapable of, or unwilling to, work alone, so its good for them to have full timetables".

1.8 "The criticisms one can make of lecturing only apply to bad lecturing".

1.9 "The value of lectures can only be judged in the context of other teaching and learning activities which make up the course".

The main conclusion is

"I believe both institutions and validating bodies ought to be asking serious questions about courses which appear to be based primarily on lecturing as the dominant teaching method"

and it is supported with a deep analysis and references to many researches done at US universities.

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