Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's rant

Argh. I've had enough of "problem-based learning." It's become my new pet peeve, right up there with tail-gating (the driving too close variety, not the pre-game party), peas, and grumpy workers at the fabric store.

In the past couple months, I've attended several school-based conferences, most of them on teaching. For the umpteenth time today, I went into a class looking forward to understanding the concept further and getting some tools I can put to use. And, for the umpteenth time, we were treated to break-out brainstorming groups where we were suppose to generate our own answers. I had to ask (by then only 20 minutes left of class) if the instructor was ever going to cover the primary elements of the concept. She referring for 3 minutes to a handout. So I know no more now about the topic than I did before walking into class. I would've learned more by surfing the web than I would in an hour long class that should've covered the subject matter handily.

Don't get me wrong, I think student participation is important. But for pete's sake, please teach your own class, don't have the student's make up a bunch of stuff and believe that suffices for actual instruction.

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