(This pic is unrelated to the story below!! Just want to share that there is a sunflower festival in Beaver Dam farm. I just went there last weekend. It was soooo beautiful :D. The sunflower is huge!! I brought my selfie stick and took so many beautiful selfie there!)
At the first week of this semester, I was lucky to have an opportunity to give two guest lectures on Intro Fluid Mechanics. Last week I’ve asked a few students for their feedback as this is the 4th time in my life to teach. Surprisingly, they said it was good and easily understood though a couple of students hoped I could go through the examples slower. Their positive feedback really give me tons of confidence and encouragement to become a teacher in the future. When I was preparing my lecture, I tried to recall how I learned the similar material as I was in college. However, I know that this might not be sufficient, because my audience are American rather than Taiwanese….
Remember the first TED talk we watched in class, the professor mentioned that he noticed students aimed to getting by the course instead of learning new knowledge. I think this phenomena is much more serious in my country; that is, most of Taiwanese students aim to excelling at exams due to intense peer pressure. I know it because I was one of them. For example, when doing a homework problem, I was pretty good at obtaining the solution. But I wouldn’t spend time on thinking about its physical meaning which is actually more important than the solution itself. On the other hand, from my 3-yrs experience as a TA at Tech, I noticed that American students tend to ask “Why?!” even though they already got the answer. Therefore, I keep in mind that in a lecture I should help students to understand and relate the physics they learn to their daily lives or whatever they have known. I think if not doing that, the lecture will become “information transfer” as described in the reference.