Thursday, March 1, 2012

Math in the Media: Flipping a Lecture???

Here at Hopkins, we are engaging in a project to better understand the general purpose and success of how the large-lecture, so-called, Gateway Science classes (the calculus, chemistry, physics, biology, etc.) in preparing students for the higher-level, specialized study of their future majors. It is a huge affair, and taken as a holistic, university-wide endeavor, has the potential to transform the general curriculum here at JHU in far reaching ways.

But more on that later. There is an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on turning the standard lecture-type model for university instruction into a much more interactive and enriching experience. The article

How 'Flipping' the Classroom Can Improve the Traditional Lecture

is a very good read. Eric Mazur, a physicist from Harvard, gave a talk here at Hopkins recently on his efforts to enliven the classroom experience. Engaging, he was, and his notion of peer-instruction, whereby students learn by active discussion with their peers while under the direction of the instructor, is just one aspect of the search for new models to engage students and promote a better, deeper sense of learning.

If you are here at Hopkins, you WILL see more of this in the years ahead. For now, give the article a good read.

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