Is anti-teaching the answer?

Mike Wesch’s piece on Anti-teaching is a very interesting reading. I have to say that I was intrigued by the reference to contemporary techniques in teaching as “anti-teaching” and then traditional teaching as “teaching”.  He suggests that traditional teaching is a “hindrance to learning”.  I definitely see where this feel could come from.  Especially in the last decade, a lot has changed and such an emphasis on testing has made teaching about conveying facts and teaching to the test.  I completely agree that this is (ineffective) teaching as it takes away ALL interesting subject matter and only focuses on what is necessary to “know for the test”.  However, there is some value to didactic learning which I think is falling into this category of (ineffective) “teaching”.  Some students do actually respond to lectures and ppts though I agree not everyone.  Each student learns a little bit differently.  The nice think about the more contemporary approach (or anti-teaching) is that it gets students to think.  There is still a place for facts and figures but getting our future generations to think and problem solve is where contemporary pedagagy will be have such an advantage.

3 thoughts on “Is anti-teaching the answer?”

  1. Your post made me think of a New York Times op-ed I read last semester:
    The author talks about how lectures can and should be an integral component of education. Now, there are lots of bad lectures and lecturers out there, so perhaps with the caveat of *good lectures* can and should be an integral component of education. Also, I don’t think that lectures should be the only, or maybe even the primary, mode of delivery. But the article brings up several good points. Namely, lectures force us to practice paying attention to and synthesizing information, which is just good practice for life. Whether it be a speech, state of the union address, or a church sermon, sometimes we have to be able to process information by way of people talking at us. Thanks for the post!

  2. Lectures like any mode of teaching have both pros and cons. I think most students would benefit from both a day of lecture and then an application day. Incorporating more class discussion and in-class activities in the midst of a traditional lecture may create a good balance for all learners. Thanks for the article Carrie it was a really interesting read with a different point of view. I like that it points out what skills students can take from more traditional lectures.

  3. I think something to keep in mind here is that “anti-teaching” doesn’t mean no lectures at all. For sure there are times when the lecture is necessary. However, there are several contemporary pedagogical strategies to make those lectures efficient so that they are appealable not only to the students that like to learn that way but also to the students that don’t.

    I think what is important is to have a balance between lecture, active learning, connected learning, and make sure that everything we do when we develop the learning environment interacts well and have a purpose.

    Thanks for sharing.

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