I’ve just finished teaching my latest crop of ed school students, and I’ve been puzzling over two trends in education. These trends aren’t exactly new, but, for some reason, it hadn’t occurred to me until now the degree to which they’re in hopeless contradiction. Think irresistible force hitting immovable object. The one: most instructors spend most of their time being guides on the side rather than sages on stages. The other: most students no longer get through most of the assigned readings.
From my faculty inbox:
The traditional lecture model is no longer the most efficient way for teachers to impart knowledge to students. With Wi-Fi, smartphones and laptops providing an endless supply of distractions, savvy educators must rely on new teaching methods for classroom engagement.
Our new Active Learning Handbook highlights how using active learning techniques can result in higher student engagement, improved grades and a lower dropout rate.
“Active learning techniques,” apparently, do not include active banning of smartphones and laptops, nor do they include old methods like active calling on students, active class discussions, and active writing assignments that require active listening to lectures.