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College Lectures: Is Anybody Listening by David Daniels - Essay Example

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In his essay "College Lectures: Is anybody listening?" David Daniels is very critical of the college system, where large classes of students are lectured at by a professor directly from his or her notes. Daniels thinks that this system is having a bad effect not only on…
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College Lectures: Is Anybody Listening by David Daniels
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, Daniels point about smaller classrooms still seems to hold true. In general, though, the people involved on both sides of the classroom are what make it work or not work.
Daniels starts out his essay with an example of one of his former teachers who had taken a course in Germany in the 1930s. The teacher was the only student in the class, but even when he was absent it seems that his teacher had given a lecture to an empty classroom (Daniels). Daniels uses this example to start talking about American colleges, which he says "are under attack from many quarters. Teachers, it is charged, are not doing a good job of teaching, and students are not doing a good job of learning" (Daniels). Daniels argues, however, that instead of focusing on the people and their not doing a good job, it is the whole system that is broken. He says that the lecture system "is passive learning, at least for inexperienced listeners," and that we need to encourage "active" learning instead because it is more effective (Daniels).
On the one hand, I agree with this statement. Large classes are definitely less effective and harder to concentrate on. For instance, the first class I took at University was a lecture very similar to the one Daniels describes in his essay. There were at least 80 people in a huge lecture hall and the class was a basic introduction to anthropology. Because the class was so big, it was very difficult for the teacher to even make herself heard, let alone get along well with her students. The class was kind of disappointing because of this and always very dull.
In comparison to that, I have also been enrolled in a smaller class that was for math. Although the subject is not something I really enjoy a lot, I was surprised what a difference it made to be able to feel like I could talk to the professor and he knew who I was. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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