After reading this week’s readings and watching the videos I wanted to know more about Peer Instruction and non-traditional methodologies that instructors are using. I found an article titled, Changing Classroom Designs: Easy; Changing Instructors’ Pedagogies: Not So Easy… The title interested me in the beginning. I wanted to know more about how technology and methodology interact in the classroom.
According to the authors, traditional classroom settings are teacher-centered. In this model, the instructor delivers knowledge to students and this is the only transmission of information. In non-traditional classrooms, such as Peer Instruction, students are able to construct their own knowledge and share it with other students. This approach is student-centered.
The purpose of the study was to find out if technology played a role in the success of student-centered methodologies. The authors claim that the student-centered pedagogy and technological classrooms go hand-in-hand. One finding was that active learning pedagogies had higher success rates than teacher-centered pedagogies regardless of the classroom technology. In the Youtube videos we watched, Mazur used clickers for the initial student interaction. And the study found that this method works equally well with flashcards or other tools.
I thought this article was interesting because the Youtube videos grasped my attention. I really enjoyed watching the student initiated discussions and interactions. This pedagogy is something I would like to be more deliberate about introducing in my classrooms. Students learn from me in the classroom but really, in my own educational experience, I learned more from my peers. I learned more going to dinner with peers after class then from lectures sometimes. It makes me reflect on Mazur’s question of how we learn. Most people do not say they learned how to do something really well by attending a lecture.
Lasry, N., Charles, E., Whittaker, C., Dedic, H., & Rosenfield, S. (2012). Changing Classroom Desings: Easy; Changing Instructors’ Pedagogies: Not So Easy… Physics Education Research Conference, AIP Conference Proceedings. 238-241.