lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2015

Teaching Methods: Blackboard or Slides

Differences between  Blackboard and Maximalist slides. (comment on teaching course material)

There is a surprising difference between the percentage of students in favour of the blackboard in the first and second surveys.  The survey doesn’t seem to have been carried out on the same group of students- different number- and not the same subject or teacher.  While I was reading the advantages and disadvantages of each device, I was imagining my students, and the way I explain, and realizing that everything depends very much on the way the teacher displays the concepts on the blackboard or the slide; whether the rhythm is suitable for the students; whether practical use of the concepts is introduced gradually, after each concept or group of concepts, or after explaining the whole content of a unit, etc.  It also depends on the students’ attitude.
I usually introduce “bits of grammar”, which I call grammar squares- as I tell them to copy them in the notebook, surrounded by a square- when they have problems to understand or put into practice a concept.  We practise it immediately- normally I introduce it in the middle of a practice, when they have problems- and the result is that only a small percentage of them remember that it is in their notebook.
As for the philosophy "the teacher works, the student works":
-It seems too obvious that it is the only successful way:

-Why doesn’t it happen?  Nice question:  what are the students supposed to do to succeed in a particular subject?  If the answer is : “pass an exam”, we already have a problem.  The goal is the exam, the learning process is not important for them, so the lesson is not important, only the exam.  And when they miss a substantial part of the process, they are missing a substantial part of the learning.  Practice is basic; maybe it is the only effective way of learning, and we have students who have been mostly taught that exams are the only compulsory obstacle to be overcome, anything else seems to be redundant.

Arturo Neira.

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