05 February 2008

Evidence based teaching

Academic scientists are both typically supposed to be both researchers and teachers. Scientists pride themselves on looking for data and evidence in research. So it's interesting that so few scientists look at data and evidence in teaching.

There's very little data in biology instructions on whether textbooks actually help students. I very rarely see discussions like, "I found a 5% increase in comprehension when I used this teaching technique." So while scientific research makes progress and improves, scientific teaching has stayed pretty much the same: Talk a few times times a week, test once a month.

I wonder if it's a matter of, "I learned okay listening to lectures, so it's okay for my students."

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