Monday, April 02, 2007

Change the teaching methods, not the students

In a recent article titled 'Teaching and Learning with the Net Generation,' authors Kassandra Barnes, Raymond C. Marateo, and S. Pixy Ferris argue that Net Geners (aka Generation X, Generation Next, Millenials, etc.) want to learn, but that traditional teaching methods are not sufficient to teach them.

From the article (emphasis is mine): "Educators should continue to find ways to exploit the skills students develop outside of class without accommodating the habits of instant gratification and shallow thinking."

"Meanwhile, classroom practices designed to accommodate emerging learning styles are gaining a foothold at all levels. Educators across the country are increasingly moving from the traditional lecture to discussion-based classes that allow for more individual expression. Use of teamwork and reliance on experiential learning have become the norm rather than the exception in classrooms today. Universities encourage faculty to combine the traditional lecture format with techniques that prompt active interaction with students."

Another gem: "The prominent place of the term "information literacy" in conversations about pedagogy is yet another example of this shift in focus (National Education Association 2005). Clearly, universities seek to attract students by accommodating their self-perception as learners who acquire information by developing their own questions, systematically evaluating sources, and selecting evidence to support their answers (Howard 2006)."

Full text of this article and others like it can be found (for free by setting up an account) at their website.


Howard, K. C. 2006. Millennials spur teaching change. Las Vegas Review Journal, March 6.

National Education Association. 2005. National forum on information literacy. (this is a link to a Word document)

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