Saturday, August 3, 2013

More on Mazur's Approach

What is it that Mazur does? Mazur switched his approach from a straight lecture, where he told students what they should know, to the following format: teacher asks a question/poses a problem, students answer individually, students then discuss their answer with person next to them, students then share answers+questions with teacher/teacher responds. Process repeats.

What might this look like?

Traditional Approach: Teacher stands in front of powerpoint slide on screen and tells students some basic facts about Galileo. Students listen and copy some notes. Teacher moves to next slide.

Alternative Approach: Teacher shows students the following visual. Tell students to write in their journal for 1-2 mins, noting as many observations/questions as they can think of about this image.  

For the next 3-4 mins, have students share their observations/questions with the person next to them.

The teacher can then randomly call on some students to have them share some of their, or their partners, observations and questions. The teacher can also simply ask students to volunteer comments and questions.

This approach is so powerful because it dramatically shifts the role of students from passive information receivers to active creators of meaning.



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