Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"Crowd-Sourcing" Teaching Philosophy

A while back, oh let's say from some time in 2006, I mentioned that Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman had accepted a position at the University of British Columbia. The interview the article I cited gave reasons for his departure from Colorado.

This news article catches up on what has transpired since then, including his initiative in revamping how physics is taught in college. From the results cited so far, it seems to be working. But there's a long way to go to not only implement such a thing, but to convince everywhere that it is the most effective means to teach.



Well Caffeinated said...

I doubt it's a matter of convincing institutions that it's the _most_ effective means of teaching. I think it's more a matter of just convincing them that what they do now (plain lectures) is the least effective way. What do you think?

Logan Wright said...

I recently attended a lecture (irony noted) by Eric Mazur on this approach. He makes a pretty convincing argument and I think the evidence supports WC's suspicion.

I do, however, agree it is not the end-all theory of teaching physics. While it is demonstrably better, and should be adopted over more "traditional methods", that actual scientific research on this continues and that it be treated with the same respect afforded to research on cold atoms and semiconductors is the more important point. How did so many auspiciously scientific people fail to effectively do this for so long?