Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 17:06:38 -0400

Author: Dick Heckathorn

Subject: RE: Demo VS Lecture

Post:


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Greetings,

What are we? Are we teachers? If so, what do we teach?=20

Then there are students. Do we teach students? I think not.

Following is a quote that in my opinion begins to put things into =
perspective.

We Teach Nothing,
We do not teach a subject nor do we teach students.
What we do if we are successful,
is to stir interest in the matter at hand,
awaken enthusiasm for it,
arouse a curiosity, kindle a feeling, fire up the imagination
and now he who is exposed in this fashion goes on his own to learn it.

The teacher communicates too much fact
and the student ingests too much,
The teacher tells him what he should know;
this he acquires transiently and superficially,
and to the degree he regurgitates it is his success measured.
And his brain has hardly been touched.

Notes from Julius Sumner Miller

Then there was a cartoon showing Calvin pondering a test question:

Frame 1 - 1. When did the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock?
Frame 2 - Calvin writes down 1627
Frame 3 - Calvin - As you can see. I've memorized this utterly useless =
fact long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it =
forever You've taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the =
system. Congratulations.

Research says that most of us, students included, are visual learners. =
If that be true, how much visual input does one get from a lecture? From =
a demonstration? (Assumption: The demonstration is presented in such a =
manner that one engages the mind of the student.)

Lest you wish to argue the research, try the following. When in front of =
a group of people, ask for eye contact. Then ask each one to make an ok =
sign with their hand. As you say "place it on you chin", place it to =
your cheek. The result, try it and see.

As a professional physics educator, I consider myself a facilitator (Or =
maybe an 'edutainer' as I read in an earlier posting.. I provide =
students the opportunity to develop the process and skills of a =
physicist using the resources that they possess. If I facilitate well =
enough, the student will go on to learn whatever they wish, in a "lazy" =
(getting the job done with the least amount of effort and in the =
shortest amount of time) manner.

By the way, I do use demonstrations as part of facilitating. (I now have =
over 600 in my inventory). Some I plan for but for many, I head to my =
boxes for one as the result of a question from a student.

Hope this gives some 'food' for thought.

Dick
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