Monday, December 11, 2006

Time Mag this week - How to bring schools into the 21st Century

Here is the link to the overview of the story in Time. I'm going to the library to read the whole story later.

I was kind of wondering how SIU could adapt to the challenges they list.
Know more about the world
Thinking outside the box
Becoming smarter about new sources of information
Developing good people skills
Actually, these skills are the province of the B/C students like me who go on an change the world and not professors or what professors are capable of teaching. I was thinking about Jon Bean's Business History class and realizing that he is building the knowledge base that is needed for students to do the Time list, which is the think I liked about his class.

If SIU decides to do anything beyond fail, it would be smart to integrate the "Time" items into the students education. Clearly, this is not in SIU's education priorities now and it should be.

Anyone get Time anymore? What do you think?

1 comment:

Don said...

I have found that a good way to move the classroom experience into the 21st century is to adopt the role of ‘teacher as facilitator’, which for me means far less lecturing and far more hands-on work for the students. Increasingly, I find myself lecturing for only 15 to 20 minutes in a 50-minute period, with the students working on problems for the other 30 to 35 minutes, either alone or in groups. This impresses the notion of personal responsibility upon the student more than anything I say ever could, and in turn provokes questions and discussions that might not otherwise occur.

Correspondingly, my own level of responsibility has increased, as I have to keep on my toes throughout the period, rather than hide behind the safety of my lecture notes. I wager that a lot of instructors who lecture the entire time do so for one of the following reasons: (1) they don’t think highly of their students’ intellectual abilities, and thus don’t think it’s worth their while to engage the students any more than what is deemed absolutely necessary; or (2) they’re afraid of making fools of themselves in front of their charges. If it’s the first reason, I would advise them to consider a career change. If it’s the second, they need to get over themselves. If they’re truly competent when it comes to the material in question, that competence will show through far more often than not, and thus, even when they do make errors (which is of course unavoidable, since we’re all human), the students will be inclined to forgive them, so long as they own up to their mistakes and correct them expeditiously.