Eric Mazur: Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?

I recommend this talk by Eric Mazur on why he switched his teaching from lecture based teaching to peer instruction based approach. It’s more than an hour long, but it really is worth it.


How does this change how we teach? How much of what students learn in our classes is actually learned? If a student can only apply the concepts they have learned to very familiar contexts, and are completely unable to apply them in different contexts, can we really say they have learned the concepts?


One Comment

  • That video definitely is worth it! I’ve been reading Geoff Petty but this really brings home the difference in teaching style and what a difference it makes. I’m still teacher training and sometimes really frustrated with the teaching I get to see, this is very inspiring 🙂
    I have said repeatedly over the last year that if teaching maths is sitting all the students down to work the problems in the book and come over to see me if they don’t get it, if that is teaching maths – I am not going to do it. Well guess what – I will just have to do it differently. And hope I meet some examples in the flesh while I am still in training.

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