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Old habits die hard

October 2, 2011

As adoption of the Learning Model progressed, there was also the converse problem: teachers relying too much on students to instruct one another without first having conveyed enough foundational information or having established the necessary framework for class discussion. Some students complained of their professors’ abdication of teaching responsibility. The balance between too much control and too little proved difficult to strike, a problem familiar to those with experience in discussion-based teaching and learning.

[op. cit., p. 260]

If there is a common complain I have from the first semester courses is exactly the one reported in the text above. When one is new to the system, specially if it is a really different type, like distance education, it takes some “framing time” for one to adjust to the situation. After that time, certain things became apparent and nothing is as it’s used to be. The problem of passing from one phase to the other is that confidence is lost, and the recovery is slow, very, very slow. I wonder if something like this is not studied enough, for such mistake to be erradicated, as it is deleterious to good instruction. But well, I’m probably asking for too much …

CMChristensen & HJEyring (2011). The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. Jossey-Bass (Kindle edition, 480 pp.)

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