Are you a teacher that talks too much?

Most teachers talk too much.  They enjoy standing up there, in front of a largely captive audience, and talking about what they know.  It makes them feel important.

The teacher has knowledge.  The students need that knowledge.  The teacher will thus tell you their sacred facts, that you may be educated.  You remember the facts, analyze them perhaps, then regurgitate them on the next test.  Boooooring.

Is that learning?  Is that the best way to teach?  Are the students learning?boredstudent

Nope.  Of course not.  Are you joking?

Teachers should not talk more than 10 minutes in each class.  The rest of the class time students should be doing something–practicing what they have learned, be engaged in finding answers to questions their teachers have asked, be at work on a learning project, doing group work, pair-work.  They should be learning actively.

It gets better–research has shown that students taught by active learning, on average, score a grade and a half higher than those who learn in traditional (boring) ways.

But, most teachers do not do use active learning.  Why?  I wish I knew.

Perhaps it is as Geoff Petty said so eloquently in his short explanation on active learning(doc file):

  • We tend to teach the way we were taught ourselves, rather than in the way that works best.
  • We know too much, and rather enjoy explaining.   


Unfortunately, anyone who is a teacher or who has taught probably knows all too many people who fit those two criteria.   Enough said.