One of the things they lectured about today was "active learning", which is apparently "revolutionizing higher education". Basically, the idea is that students zone out during lectures, so we're supposed to get them involved in the learning process. (Learn more: Here.) Examples would be things like:
The teacher pauses and gives the students time to figure out a question with their neighbor,
Whole class debates,
It's all interesting stuff, but the tone of the presentation turned me off. The lecturer told us that %40 of higher ed students drop out or fail, and so we have to realize that the old methods just don't work. Then, he went on rapturously about active learning for a while and asked us to imagine what an active class looks like. People said things like "excited", "enthusiastic", "happy" and so forth. I've never understood the mentality that goes: "Well, the old ways don't work anymore. So, let's do the complete opposite and that should fix everything." Also, I have to wonder if a lot of this "active learning" doesn't amount to us getting paid to have the kids teach themselves.