"...with physicists across the country pushing for universities to do a better job of teaching science, M.I.T. has made a striking change. The physics department has replaced the traditional large introductory lecture with smaller classes that emphasize hands-on, interactive, collaborative learning."What's sad about this change is that it distributes "responsibility" to some kind of amorphous committee. Who then is overall accountable for educating and inspiring students? I think this because I personally sat in that very same classroom learning lessons from absolute intellectual giants: Walter Lewin, Alar Toomre, Arthur Mattuck, Hartley Rogers, Philip Morrison, Daniel Kemp, Mark Wrighton, and more. All gods of science and mathematics and each inspiration incarnate. Splitting into small groups to "learn" with some understudy seems like a second-class teaching solution. Small saving grace: At least the wonderful Walter Lewin lives online courtesy YouTube!
A Scale Model of Time Itself
2 hours ago
I hope Harvard doesn't follow suit. I can't imagine courses such as the late Stephen Jay Gould's "History of the World" (which he team taught with Alan Dershowitz & Richard Nozick) being distilled into to a small seminar. Certain subject matters demand a wide audience theater when they are taught by majestic scientists such as MIT’s Walter Lewin.
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