#Change11 Is questioning a better way to teach? You can forget facts, but you cannot forget understanding

This is a follow up post to my previous posts here, here and here.

Is lecturing the most effective way of learning? What are the problems with lecturing?

“I think what many students in their introductory physics courses do is they retain their intuitive notions,” says Mazur. They memorize what the professor tells them and “parrot it back” on the exam but they never really connect what they are learning to what they already think about how the physical world works.

A whole field of education research has emerged from what physicists have learned about the problems with the traditional lecture. There are now Physics Education Research groups at dozens of universities and a long list of peer-reviewed studies that confirm what they have found. It’s not just physics where lectures fail; the traditional lecture is not an effective way to teach any subject.

I had thought about traditional lecture since I was a student.  In principle, lecturing is an useful method in delivering to a large group of students.

In this post on rethining teaching, Professor Eric Mazur explains how he has changed the way he taught in mass lecture:  teaching by questioning, rather than lecturing.

“You can forget facts, but you cannot forget understanding”.  Says Eric.

Here peer instruction has been used for driving the learning.

How would this peer instruction be applicable to MOOC?  I think we are already having a lot of peer learning and instruction here in MOOC since CCK08, where emergent and self-organised learning flourished (Williams et al. 2011), with the use of networks and social media platforms as ways to share our views and learning, so we could critique on the concepts behind through critical inquiry, with PLE/PLN as filters to the information, and creation of artifacts for sharing of information and knowledge, leading to on-going discourse with Web 2.0 tools.

We are now more used to raising questions and providing evidences in learning in the social media and networks, where Roy Williams says:

We now live in an environment where we can not only ask questions, but provide the evidence, live, on our mobile phones, internationally, bypassing, or ‘disinter mediating’ all the traditional social institutions, filters, and agenda setters.

Is questioning a better way to learn, not only to teach? What about your experiences in learning beyond the social institutions – using peer learning?

Postscript: This post on peer learning is interesting.

#Change11 Social Media Literacies and Multiple Intelligences

This week’s session by Howard Rheingold relates to the fundamental social media literacy.

Howard concluded that “one important step that people can take is to become more adept at five essential literacies for a world of mobile, social, and always-on media: attention, crap detection, participation, collaboration, and network know-how.”

Would the following categorization help?

Personal literacy: Attention, crap detection

Social literacty: Participation, collaboration

Socio-technological literacy: Network know-how

Relating to crap detection, Howard says:

“Although the Web undermines authority, the usefulness of authority as another clue to credibility hasn’t entirely disappeared. I would add credibility points if a source is a verified professor at a known institution of higher learning, an authentic M.D. or Ph.D., but I wouldn’t subtract points from uncredentialed people whose expertise seems authentic. Nor would I stop at simply verifying that the claim to be a professor is valid.” Great advice.

I have reflected on the basic questions here:

There are 6 important questions raised:

1. Where is it coming from?

2. What are the implications of thinking like that? What are the social, political, economical and environmental implications?

3. How could this be thought otherwise?

4. Who decides?  Who decides what’s true, normal, mainstream?

5. In whose name is this statement made?

6. For whose benefit?

I am mulling over the discussion on the evolving definition of experthere.

In reflection this could be referred to:

Question 4: Who decides?  Who is the authority in the subject domain?

Question 5: In whose name is this statement made?  This is particularly the case in referring to the authorities in research.  What are the credentials of those experts?  Are they theorists, practitioners or both?

Question 6: For whose benefit?  Who would benefit most from the decision made? How about the power?

Do you see experts as the main source of critical literacies?  Who are the experts?  How about leaders as experts?

How would these literacies be developed in social networks and formal education? Would that be learning by doing, thinking and reflection?  I think it would also relate to critical thinking, sensemaking and way-finding, whilst navigating and constructing networks under Connectivism.

What about the intelligence one has in order to develop those literacies in online education and learning environment?

I have been thinking about multiple intelligences (MI) for the last two decades.  Here Howard Gardner provides an interesting presentation on MI.  As Howard mentioned, MI is a way of thinking.

My main take away from Howard’s MI presentation is that MI has its soil on certain cultural roots, where democracy and individualization of education and learning is encouraged and supported.  However, there might be some constraints when such way of thinking is introduced into a culture where centralization of power is involved.  Under such centralized education system, MI might have potential to flourish, provided individualized learning is allowed.  The use of Personal Learning Environment (PLE) might better align with this MI way of thinking, where the learner would decide which of those capacities he or she has would be of interests for development.