Interesting Article on Education

Dear Reader,

I ran across this article in Harvard Magazine. Basically, a Harvard University professor has come to the realization that his students don’t learn when he just lectures. He has found a format that allows the students to interact with one another works much better for them. Remembering  my own college and graduate school experience, it is heartening for me to hear a professor saying he is “‘far more interested in learning than teaching,’ and envisions a shift from ‘teaching’ to ‘helping students learn.'”

Is there an opposite to rolling over in one’s grave? Dancing in one’s grave perhaps? Because I think this is what Charlotte Mason must be doing. Not just droning on to the students but making sure that they engage with the material seems to be right up her alley. In Professor Mazur’s class the students are not narrating, but they are working through problems together. When there is a disagreement, they have to put the material in their own words to convince the others in their group of their side of the argument. In this way, they make the material their own. They, as Miss Mason would say, form a relationship with the subject matter. In the words of the Harvard Magazine article:

“Firsthand use of new material develops personal ownership. When subject matter connects directly with students’ experiences, projects, and goals, they care more about the material they seek to master.”

I am not convinced all this is new information, newly rediscovered perhaps. But I hope it is more than just a fad. My eldest child is 6 years from college and I would love to see him go to a school where professors take this attitude toward education.


One response to this post.

  1. […] wrote once before about a Harvard Magazine article detailing new approaches to learning that are being tried there. […]


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