Blog do Curso de Medicina da Universidade Estadual de Maringá para a discussão de temas de Educação Médica, Educação das Profissões da Saúde e áreas correlatas.
Blog of University of Maringá Medical School for the discussion of issues of Medical Education, Health Professions Education and related areas.
I've been asked to give a talk that explores some of the top
teaching-learning lessons learned in the past 15 years. It's a good
reflection exercise that also brings up those lessons we haven't learned
or aren't yet finished learning.
I'm figuring the best place to start is with
technology. During the past 15 years, technology has
become a dominating force in every aspect of our lives and that includes
education. As it descended upon higher education, we didn't start out
asking the right question. We got focused on the mechanics of "How does
it work?" (or, in the case of those of us not all that adept at
mastering technology, "Why doesn't it work?") and "What can we do with
it?" The better question is whether a new technology promotes learning.
We are asking that question now, but still struggle with the balance
between what's possible and what promotes learning.
We've also discovered that technology has the power to change
teacher-student relationships vis-à-vis social media and the many
new ways it offers teachers and students to connect. It's causing us to
revisit professional boundaries—how, on what terms, and in what
places should teachers and students interact. Our learning about this is
still very much in progress.
Technology now makes access to information unbelievably easy. Answers
are but a touch or a click away and yet we're still covering content
like we're the keepers of information. Technology has changed the role
of content, but most of us don't seem to have noticed. Why aren't we
doing more to teach students how to evaluate information, synthesize and
integrate it, and know when there's enough of it? Why aren't we
grappling with how much information is enough in our courses? Will we
ever challenge the assumption that more is always better?
The next lesson of the past 15 years centers on active
learning. Most of us are still surprised by how much evidence
supports it, but we have come to accept that student engagement is an
essential aspect of learning. We are on board here theoretically, but in
many (or is it most?) classrooms there is still more lecture and
passivity than there should be. We can't seem to disavow ourselves of
the notion that teachers should do most of the talking. Hopefully the
next 15 years will see a continued transformation that ends with
students as active and involved as their teachers.
We've also come to understand that student learning is
just as important as teaching and is not the inevitable outcome of
teaching, even very good teaching. More than 15 years ago, student
learning was rediscovered by college teachers and we've learned much
about it since then. Our knowledge has been supplemented by recent
advances in neuroscience that have moved us beyond a fixed set of
learning styles and to the complexity and individuality of learning.
Many teachers are exploring the instructional implications of what's
known about learning, but so far most of us are just scratching the
surface. We have yet to truly understand that when learning becomes the
expressed goal of teaching, that's a radical realignment with the
potential to change every aspect of instructional practice.
Finally, in the past 15 years we've learned that faculty can do
intellectually robust scholarship on teaching and
learning. Good pedagogical scholarship has been around for
decades, but way more quality work has been published in the past 15
years than in those previous decades. We no longer believe that
instructional innovations work just because teachers say they do. Their
impact on learning outcomes must be objectively and systematically
explored. Quantitative pedagogical scholarship has a newfound
credibility with many teaching and learning journals. But because the
research scholarship in our fields is what we know best and what we
value most, we are aspiring to make pedagogical scholarship look like
it. We haven't yet learned that the study of teaching and learning as it
occurs in courses by teachers vested in their practice is a unique form
of scholarship. When conformed to the protocols and conventions of our
disciplines, it loses some of its distinctive features; like the wisdom
that can grow out of thoughtful, reflective practice.
We've learned a lot in the past 15 years, but as with all learning, it
reveals how far we have to go.
Michael, J. "Where's the Evidence that Active Learning Works?"
Advances in Physiology Education, 2006, 30, 159-167.
Prince, M. "Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research."
Journal of Engineering Education, July 2004, 223-231.