Don’t Lecture Me: Rethinking How College Students Learn

What do students learn in a traditional lecture-based physics class, and are there ways to teach them better? Cognitive scientists determined that people’s short-term memory is very limited – it can only process so much at once. A lot of the information presented in a typical lecture comes at students too fast and is quickly forgotten. Physics education researchers, determined that the traditional lecture-based physics course where students sit and passively absorb information is not an effective way for students to learn. A lot of students can repeat the laws of physics and even solve complex problems, but many are doing it through rote memorization.

And something happened in my classroom which I had never seen before.” “The entire classroom erupted in chaos. They were dying to explain it to one another and to talk about it.” After just a few minutes of talking to each other, most of the students seemed to have a better understanding of the concept he’d been trying to teach.


Read also: Peer instruction – interactive-learning


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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