Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
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Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Memorization or Understanding: Are We Teaching the Right Thing?

Eric Mazur
Harvard University

Friday, November 11, 2011
1:30 PM @ Stirling D (note change)


Education is more than just the transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form), and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom.

This colloquium is co-sponsored by Queen's University's Centre for Teaching and Learning. Attendance is open to anyone within the university community. Interested attendees from outside Physics are asked to please register so that we have a proper estimate of the likely numbers.

Refreshments will be available after the talk in Stirling A (note change).