Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?

Presentation Date: 

Thursday, November 10, 2005


A Year of Physics Teaching/Learning Workshop, North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC)

Presentation Slides: 

Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom.