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James Redfield teaches Greek at the University of Chicago. He also knows a thing or two about different styles of teaching. Students, he observes, often prefer that he "take control" of a class and just tell them what he knows. In an essay on the Web site of the U. of C.'s Center for Teaching and Learning he writes:
"One of the major issues about discussion teaching . . . is that everybody is for it, except maybe the students. I have a short list of the things that everybody knows are good, but nobody is quite clear why. Discussion teaching is on that list. . . .
"Some people seem to think that somehow discussion is a way in which people individualize themselves, and everybody gets to have their own opinion. The lecture is much better for that because, as I say, it leaves you alone. Discussion is a consensus process, and, insofar as it is working, it creates a group that tends to draw people closer and closer together and cuts off the edges on them."
Read the whole thing--even if you don't buy it, the thoughts per word ratio is off the charts. (Yes, I know, it originally was a talk he gave in 1988.)
I love that list of "things that everybody knows are good, but nobody is quite clear why." What would you add to it? Or should I just tell you?
(Hat tip to Savage Minds.)