Snart börjar terminen och vid den här tiden på året brukar jag fundera över vilka undervisningsalternativ till storföreläsningsformen vi erbjuder studenterna. Det är inte många.
With so much scientific evidence behind active learning, the obvious question is, Why are these methods so seldom used in colleges and universities? Part of it is just habit; lectures began at universities because they did not have books, and so information had to be dictated and copied. Teaching methods have not yet adapted to the invention of the printing press. A second reason is a fundamentally flawed understanding of learning. Most people, including university faculty and administrators, believe learning happens by a person simply listening to a teacher. That is true if one is learning something very simple, like “Eat the red fruit, not the green one,” but complex learning, including scientific thinking, requires the extended practice and interaction described earlier to literally rewire the brain to take on new capabilities. The most important reason higher education does not change methodologies, however, is that there is no incentive.