Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interactive Workshops at Learner.org

There is so much information related to good teaching practices that is impossible to absorb it. But here and there one find websites with knowledge and information that is succinct useful and entertaining. This one http://www.learner.org/workshops/lala2/ is one of those. In one of the tapes (I got the tapes from O. F. Linn library at Warner Pacific College) they show how teaching in a way runs parallel to the way science works. And that it is better to cover a few topics with greater depth than a lot of topics in a very superficial way. The metaphor used is the one about building a bridge across a river; one could throw stones in some kind of foundation until they are a few inches above water and then use them to go across, or one could build a suspension bridge by burying two pillars deep down making them strong supports to where the bridge is going to be suspended. The question is: which bridge will be better to resist a flood? A study made by the Harvard group looking at college physics students showed that those students that learned a few topics (but with a deeper understanding) outperformed those students who in high school went through the whole book chapter to chapter but having to skip some questions posed by the students for lack of time and moving on to the next chapter in the book.

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