Educational verve: New approaches to teaching revolutionize the classroom


[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER 1: What is
it we’re actually trying to do with a
student here at Cornell? Is it just tell
them information? I mean, they could read
Wikipedia for that. You want to reach
more of the students. And you want to give
more of them a voice. So giving people a voice
is probably the best way for active learning. VEER VEKARIA: When I
felt like I was a number, I felt like I was not getting
the most out of my education. And I’d just lost the sense
of direction and passion in what I was learning. I was not engaged. I felt like there
was a big distance between me and the professor. NATASHA HOLMES: A
traditional lecture really was a transmission
of knowledge, where the role of the instructor
before the printing press, it was to transfer that
knowledge from the instructor to the students so that they
could literally, like, copy it down. But information is readily
available everywhere. And so that sort of
model is insufficient. So what is the role
of the instructor in a classroom if it’s not
just to transmit knowledge? SPEAKER 2: Right now,
what we want you to do is practice drawing [INAUDIBLE]. VEER VEKARIA: But when I came
to this active learning classes, I found what kept me in passion. Suddenly, that gap was shrunk. You don’t feel like a
number among students. You know people’s names
around the classroom because everyone
is contributing. I genuinely felt galvanized
to fix the system that I want to work in. MICHAEL FONTAINE:
So, ideally, we’re trying to awaken
all kinds of ideas that the student has never
had, channel the enthusiasms and the passions, once we find
them, into the proper courses so that a student can
realize or self-actualize their identity before going
on and starting a career. SPEAKER 3: Oh, now I see. JULIA THOM-LEVY: Breaking down
the barriers between faculty and students is so important
for excellence in teaching. We’ve established the Center
for Teaching Innovation. Technology and
pedagogy experts all come together to
support our faculty and give them what they need
in the areas of assessment, pedagogy, educational
technology, and other areas. So our goal is to
engage all students, and I mean all students. In a class of 400, that
is quite difficult. It’s beyond just
asking a question and having one or
two students answer. We want to hear
from all of them. And we want all of them to
engage with the material and get rapid feedback
from the instructor. VEER VEKARIA: You’re suddenly
in this global microcosm. And you have people coming
from all over the world. You have people studying
so many different fields. Once you get in the
classroom and you realize the breadth
of opportunities that are at Cornell, you
sort of find yourself looking into other fields. NATASHA HOLMES: The
active learning piece is really about the instructor
sort of becomes coach. And the instructor is
working with the students to guide their
thinking, and support their thinking,
the same way any, like, athletics coach would do. The classroom ends up
being this time where we got to really
think critically about the content, and the
material, and the subject matter, whatever it might be. MICHELLE SMITH: My
classroom does not look like a classroom,
where students are coming in and quietly
taking notes on what I’m saying. Instead of me
imparting knowledge out to them, what I want is
an opportunity for them to create the knowledge and
talk about it with each other. So at times, it’s loud. At times, it’s almost like a
party-like atmosphere, where students are
discussing and debating different answer choices. VEER VEKARIA:
Suddenly, I was not being talked to by a lecturer
or just reading off PowerPoints and regurgitating
that information. I was learning techniques in
public speaking, debating. I would be learning about
a topic in the classroom, and then at dinner
time with a friend, we’d be talking
about that subject. I had a solid grasp of how
to kind of argue one side, but also see what the other
side of the argument was. I felt more engaged
with the topic. And I felt that I was closer
to the professor and the TAs in that classroom. NATASHA HOLMES: Yeah, I
think university faculty can be intimidating. We don’t mean to be. But I think just
the idea that we’re professors can be intimidating. The Students really get
to talk to each other. And they get to talk
to the instructor. And I think that
really does help sort of lower those barriers,
which is what we want, right? We want to be a resource. We want to be a coach. We want to be a teacher
and mentor to the students. And I think that’s one
of the big barriers that sort of gets taken down. MICHELLE SMITH: The skills in
these active learning classes are really extending beyond
the particular subject. They are lifelong
skills that can help these students, no matter
what careers they choose. VEER VEKARIA: The beautiful
thing about active learning was that it’s preparing
students for the real world, and to meet the challenges
not only for just working in multiple different
jobs, it’s really cool because I’m able to take what
I learned in the classroom and immediately apply it
to stuff that I’m really passionate about. But I also have my long-term
goal of being a physician. I feel like so much
more passionate now about medicine
and the impact that I’ll make on society.

5 thoughts on “Educational verve: New approaches to teaching revolutionize the classroom”

  1. Can we learn how to depend on ourselves, and not on the Government, by bring the life of the Earth, healthy again?🤔

  2. I used to love classes because I got to sit through lectures taught by professors who were incredibly knowledgeable and were also skilled lecturers. Once my professors began trying out new techniques, I found myself in groups with people who did not even read the materials for that day. Additionally, many people learn differently and someone who's an introvert may not learn as well if they're focused on having to engage with people during that time. I agree that it's helpful to find new ways to teach, but at some schools the professors don't have the training to know how to execute active learning.

  3. TRANSMISSION OF KNOWLEDGE IS STILL THE MAIN AND ONLY PURPOSE OF EDUCATION, HERE'S WHY: EVEN THOUGH KNOWLEDGE IS AVAILABLE "EVERYWHERE", SUCH AS ONLINE, IT IS STILL THE UNIVERSITY'S JOB TO SELECT SPECIFIC TOP KNOWLEDGE, TO CURATE IT OUT OF THE WHOLE SEA OF KNOWLEDGE, AND TO ALSO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PASS IT ALONG IN THE CLASSROOM IN A WAY WHICH CREATES WHAT IS CALLED "AN INSTITUTIONAL ADVANTAGE". AN INSTITUTIONAL ADVANTAGE IS WHAT MAKES A GIVEN SCHOOL PREFERABLE AND SUPERIOR OVER OTHER SCHOOLS. WHEN A SCHOOL GETS SIDETRACKED WITH PROVIDING THEIR STUDENTS A "VOICE", THAT IS A ANATHEMA TO THE JOB OF EDUCATING, AND IS A DIGRESSION FROM THE SCHOOL'S MAIN PURPOSE. FROM THAT POINT ON THE SCHOOL IS DISSERVICES ITS STUDENTS TO A DEGREE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE AMOUNT OF CONCERN IT HAS OVER "VOICE".

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