Glide Underground

Fixing science

Articles / Personal Stuff/Random News
Date: Jul 29, 2008 - 10:00 AM
At Livescience, an article on fixing the state of science education today:

As knowledge and population grew, the apprentice model expanded into the university with an increasing number of students for each expert, in order to pass along information more efficiently. The lecture format predominant today began long ago, before the invention of the printing press, as an efficient way to pass along information and basic skills such as writing and arithmetic in the absence of written texts. The economies of scale led to this expanding to the current situation of a remote lecturer often addressing hundreds of largely passive students.

It's unclear that this model was ever truly effective for science education and vast societal and technological changes over the past several decades make it clearly unsuitable for science education today.
He makes a compelling argument - I for one hated the lecture model of holding classes, especially since it almost inevitably degenerated into the professor reading us his book.

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