Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blog Post #14

Pseudoteaching: MIT Physics
     First, lets discuss what pseudoteaching is. It is when you are teaching a lesson and it seems like it is an amazing lesson, until you have finished teaching and then you realize that none of the students have learned. Pseudoteaching seems like it is a good lesson, the students feel like they are learning, other people feel like they are watching a great lesson, but in the reality very little information is being absorbed by the students.
     An example of a pseudoteacher is Professor Walter Lewin who is a physics teacher at MIT. Professor Lewin had a very high energy towards his students. He was showing them multiple demonstrations per class, and the students loved it. The only problem was that the attendance and grades in his classroom started to drop. The students weren't learning anymore, so they were becoming frustrated. This lead them to stop coming to class at all, because it became a waste of time for them. Lewin was known for being an amazing teacher, but the MIT staff knew there was a problem when Lewin's grades began to fall.
     The way that MIT decided to fix this was to incorporate TEAL into the classroom. TEAL stands for Technology Enhanced Active Learning. With this, the teachers were able to change out black boards for interactive whiteboards in which they could involve the students more. This pushed for students to attend the class, because with these boards came clickers that they used to check attendance. With these clickers, they also were able to interact with the lecture by answering multiple choice questions through them. This helps the teacher to know how much information the students are actually learning. Not only did they add interactive white boards into the curriculum, they also cut down classroom size to make the lecture more personal with the students.
     Another thing that was noted in this article, is that you don't have to have an interactive white board to push the students further. One teacher from Carey Academy gave his students basic white boards and urged them to learn on their own by helping each other figure everything out. The teacher never lectures, he lets the students teach themselves, as he guides them along. The students draw models on the boards and think of their own ways of learning that works best for them. The students love this because they are feeling like they are accomplishing goals.
     Noschese says that when he was first teaching he would plan his lessons around "what am I going to do in class tomorrow?" Now, he plans his lessons around "What are my students going to do tomorrow? How will it help them to progress towards our learning goals?"
     To me, this TEAL program has seemed to really work for the students. They are learning more and attending class more, and the results have shown it. Students can get bored with hearing the same thing everyday and not being able to comprehend what is going on, so they decide to just stop all around because it becomes a waste of time. I understand this, because I have had a class like this. Teachers need to be sure to keep the students interested, and once students start learning, it sparks their brain to want to learn more because they feel accomplished. We as teachers need to continuously go over our lessons and make sure that it isn't being made to appease a supervisor, but it is being made to make the students learn what we are trying to get across to them.

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