January 25, 2013

Did You Hear What I Heard? - Value of Lectures

The other morning on my way to make a few copies I saw a fellow teacher confronting a couple students over what appeared to be copying of homework - a practice that admittedly is pretty rampant at our school. I stood trapped at the copier, knowing what was coming my way - a one-sided conversation about the wrongs of copying. I braced myself and prepared my smiling and nodding muscles.

The monologue covered the predictable ground that copying work is not only wrong but results in little or no learning. I was smiling and nodding in agreement, but not feeling the passion of my colleague. Then came the unforeseen twist. This teacher goes on to explain that they intentionally change the style of bullet points used during lectures and then at the end of the lecture asks the students flip through their notes to see that they blindly copied the variety of bullet points... Using this as a jumping off point to explain that copying doesn't equate to learning. At this point in the conversation I tried to keep a straight face and not laugh at the irony.

This teacher had just equated the educational value of taking notes during their lectures with copying homework!

I couldn't agree more.

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