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New ways of teaching create new demands on teachers and on systems

When we introduce more student active teaching as alternatives to the traditional lecture based teaching at university, this has implications for our role as teachers. We have to develop a part of this role which, at best, has been slumbering in the shadow of a more dominant and, one might add, more or less successful side as provider of essential information and knowledge. When it is expected that students become more active, we need to stand back and hand over some of the control to students: Facilitating learning, instead of providing subject knowledge. Creating structure and room for discussion, rather than lecturing. This is challenging, as we have long traditions for keeping control and as we are used to lecturing. Even in seminars!

Our institutions need to rethink not only the way teaching is organised, but also its architecture and its system for calculating the workload involved in teaching. Architecture is important, as the layout of rooms and buildings not only create or prevent opportunities for different activities, but also affect our conceptions of knowledge and teaching. The most important barrier to change is, however, the way teaching load is calculated. When resources and time run scarce, it makes sense to lecture as one hour in front of class counts as four.

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