Active vs Passive, Traditional vs Innovative; the debate regards which teaching approaches are best still lingers within all facets of education.

Many practitioners will advocate the formal lecture and exposition approach despite the apparent lack of evidence for its success. In fact, Stanford Professor Carl Wieman recently said that “You give people lectures, and (some students) go away and learn the stuff. But it wasn’t that they learned it from (the) lecture — they learned it from homework, from assignments. When we measure how little people learn from an actual lecture, it’s just really small.”

So therefore, surely active learning is the answer??? Well according to Harriet Harper (2013) maybe not!! When using active learning type approaches, you need to be extremely careful that you do not simply provide the learners with a lesson that is “…action-packed but content light and intellectually weak”.

Consequently, it would appear that the debate will not be going anywhere!!! Where do you sit on the debate?? Contribute to the discussion by commenting below…

Posted in LAT

One thought on “The Great Teaching Debate!!!!

  1. Oooh.. An interesting debate! A happy balance between the two is ideal (I know, it’s a cop out and a tad fence sitting as a response!) Harper is right, busy students aren’t necessarily going to absorb the information any better. However, adding a kinaesthetic approach into the delivery of theory content can help the learning to stick… Is only works if the students are encouraged to reflect on their progress though and prompted to recognise their increased understanding of the subject/topic by including regular plenary points throughout the lesson.


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