During the past week, colleagues in my network have been discussing the opt-ed piece “Lecture Me. Really.” published by Molly Worthen in the NY Times.  It’s a polarizing piece that pits lecturing against active learning. Rather than re-state all that has been said, I’d like to feature the top 4 responses from my network.

Featured blog posts:

#1:  Active Learning is Not Our Enemy: A Response to Molly Worthen. Written by Josh Eyler, this response breaks down each of the Worthen’s points and provides evidence to document the effectiveness of active learning strategies.

#2: What’s the Point of a Teacher?. Written by Elizabeth Barre, this response digs deeper into our roles as teachers and explores our value in the classroom.

#3: Lecture Me? Really?. Written by Elli Goudzwaard, this response is a reaction to the humanities vs. sciences debate when it comes to teaching and learning.

#4: In Search of Pedagogical Neutrality. Written by Marc Hofer, this response uncovers the ‘false dichotomy’ that exists between lecture vs. active learning and offers a recommendation to integrate the lecture into the active learning environment. Why do we have to choose?

All of these colleagues do a great job explaining why we should NOT pit lectures and active learning strategies against each other.  There’s a need and a place for both in our classrooms. Interestingly, I just facilitated a webinar and I introduced the concept of “flippable moments” where we can look for moments to flip within one lecture or one course.  After a few minutes, one of the graduate students asked, “Is there such a thing as “lecturable moments” in active learning classrooms?”  I laughed at first. But, then I realized, he gets it. It’s not about one strategy or another. It’s about learning.

What are your responses to Worthen’s piece or to these responses?

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