The Lecture. Is it so bad? This recent post by Dr. John Fea at his history blog addresses this question (be sure to check out the links at the bottom too). And I’d like to weigh in on the issue too.
The trendy education gurus would tell tell you ‘lecturing is bad.’ As my students know, I use a mixture of lecture, guided practice, group work, games, etc. Even though I’d love to say I do mostly creative out-of-the-box activities, the truth is that I mostly lecture. I’m not sure that’s entirely bad, though.
When I was in college, I really enjoyed a good lecture–key word good. Dr. Fea was one of my history professors and he was a fantastic lecturer. He would get into it, he moved around, he was well-spoken, and he knew his stuff. I enjoyed many of my other professors for the same reasons (one of my philosophy professors, in particular). And I still enjoy listening to good lectures when I get the chance. A good lecture captures the audience like any other good performance would. Why do you think the lectures on TED.com are so popular?
I’m going to keep lecturing. In fact, I have a great lecture planned for my Precalculus class tomorrow and I’m excited to give it. I’ll be presenting a beautiful proof, and I’ve got a well-planned powerpoint to go with it. In fact, for this particular lecture, I tell the students they don’t even have to take notes…just soak it in!
Three cheers for the lecture! 🙂