Essay Writing: Why Lectures Are Outdated

Bored Student

There are a lot of techniques for studying and improving your skills. All the teaching methods have a clear pattern: first, the professor gives you the material, and after it, there are the following tests/tasks/projects. A lot of students do not like to listen to the lectures, and it is normal. According to the recent studies, a lecture is an outdated method. Maybe, it is time, if not to abandon, but seriously reconsider the approach to the lectures: change the format, content, and obviously reduce the loads in favor of increasing the practical component. It is clear that this transition will completely break the existing system of higher education, but perhaps it may show the way to increase the efficiency of educational work. Here are some points to mention if you want to write an essay on this topic.

The Main Question

First things first, you should explain why this topic is relevant. The lecture is a convenient way to quickly transfer the structured educational knowledge to a large number of students like an audience of 300-500 people. In this case, no memory or comprehension of the material occurs and on the other hand, 90% of this material is available in textbooks, manuals, etc. In addition, professors have almost all of their lecture courses in electronic form and they can immediately send them to students rather than spend a lot of precious both for the lecturer and students time. So, the question arises: what is the point and effectiveness of using an outdated technology? Even schools are moving towards an active learning, and conservative universities continue to adhere to the millennial traditions.

A Little Bit of History

The next point to talk about is the history of lectures. It goes down in the Middle Ages when printing and communication were poorly developed. According to the socio-economic conditions of that time, there was a need for initiation to the formation of the general public, not only members of the nobility. Dialogical type of teaching does not satisfy the needs. Therefore, the teacher, who had an access to the literature, organized information in the form of written texts in the classroom and read this material to students. It was a peculiar way of collective distribution and assimilation of the information. The students have noted down these lectures and so mastered the program material. Only later, at the end of the 19th century, the practical and laboratory classes were applied along with lectures. Nowadays in order to make lectures more effective, professors make them more interactive.

Arguments for

If you need to write an essay, you should give arguments to support your point of view. In case you do not like such type of learning you still may give examples of effectivity of lectures in order to save objectivity. A lecture gives an opportunity to realize one of the core ideas of humane pedagogics – the creative collaboration of the teacher with the students, the general emotional interaction. It activates the brain activity because you need to analyze the given information and highlight the most important statements. Of course, if you can carefully listen and understand the meaning. Also, lecture form accumulates a large amount of scientific data. The student has the opportunity to receive a considerable amount of information for a relatively short period of time. By the way, lecture plan serves as a guide for students, and when it is a shortage of literature, your notes are indispensable information bank.

Lectures Shortcomings

On the other hand, there are a lot of negative points. Information that professor tells is directed mainly at the student's aural memory. This type of memory is very imperfect. The information is contained in the short-term memory, and when there is no reinforcement, this data just "disappears.” The studies show that at the end of the lecture the entire scope of information the student can reproduce is only 10-15%. If there is a large flow of students (more than 50 people), the teacher cannot effectively manage the intellectual activity of students. Although, the main problem is that lecture teaches students to passively appropriate the other people's thoughts, without stimulating the craving for self-directed learning. It does not provide an individual, differentiated approach to studying.

Professor in Classroom

We Need to Go Deeper

The arguments always need the examples. In your essay, you can argue that until you have no need for the material, the lecture will not help at all because your brain does not associate the information heard with the personal experience. You can listen about the principles of the mechanisms for thousand times, but until you face this in practice, your trying to learn the material will be pointless. Furthermore, if you have a laptop in the class, you can google the certain term and learn much more while the professor reads a definition. Also, you can write about another interesting experiment. There are 100 pages of printed lectures, and an urgent task to do. What would you do? That's right, you will prefer to use Google instead of looking through hundred pages. If you know how to search the information, it will be much faster to find it on the Internet.

Let’s Talk Numbers

According to the researchers, 55% of students, who listened to the usual lectures, fail the exam. These are the results of a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scott Freeman from the University of Washington conducted a meta-analysis of 225 scientific works devoted to the teaching of natural sciences. The results clearly speak in favor of active teaching methods. In groups with conventional lectures, exam was not passed, on average by 34% of students. On the contrary, in the groups with active learning, it was only 22% of failures. About 7 million people in the US study the natural science, and 840 thousand students may leave due to the wrong teaching methods.

Training vs Self-Study

To sum up, you can hyperbolize the situation. If the learning methods are outdated, maybe the self-education is a right way. The difference is one thing and it is the most important thing in education at all. It is feedback. When you have something to learn and practice on your own, but there is no one to check your work, your skills will not get better. Constructive criticism always makes the result better. Yes, eventually you will automatize your skills, but it is not the fact that you will perform it correctly. At the end of your essay make a conclusion and demonstrate your personal point of view.


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