The idea of a lecture-oriented classroom was the only type of classroom that most students know prior to starting college and made up about 90 percent of my undergraduate classes with only a few being discussion-based. So, starting graduate school, not having really any lecture-oriented classes was a unique experience that I wasn’t completely ready for or fully expecting. I typically don’t choose to share much during class during discussions as I like to think over my thoughts more thoroughly before sharing.
Talbert started his post originally stating he typically extremely dislikes lecture-oriented, yet did think there were some positives including: modeling thought processes, sharing cognitive structures, giving context, and telling stories. I would definitely agree that all four of these are positives related to this type of class style, but I don’t think they are the only positives that can come from lectures.
While, he does present those four positive components, I appreciated how he acknowledges that he doesn’t believe that information transfer is a positive, but in fact it is more effective at “covering material.” Talbert also introduced an interesting shift of thinking for me, in that a lecture can be inspiring, yet still may not actually learn anything so it ultimately isn’t effective. I would challenge Talbert’s comment on this as I know several people who are able to retain information, most of the time myself, and are able to truly learn from some of these experiences in lecture-oriented classrooms. Many people gather the incorrect or incomplete information as there are many terrible lecture experiences, but there are some instructors who can make lectures interesting enough or can present the material in a way that allows for easier/better cognition and understanding of the material. I say all of this identifying that I might be slightly biased because of my positive experiences and great professors. My opinion has been changing slightly recently since I have been in more discussion-based classes recently, but I believe there are still pros/cons to both types of classroom styles as certain classes/majors require different things from their classes.
With all of that said, I do think something that Carnes mentioned in his article is important to acknowledge as there are many students that just go “through the motions” which could cause some of the negativity surrounding lectures. In order to improve globally, something in U.S. education needs to change, but I don’t know if it is necessary lectures that are causing this problem.