June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.1054.1 - 8.1054.8
Teach Less Better
Ronald P. Krahe, P.E. Associate Professor of Engineering Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
What are we trying to accomplish? Many of us feel the pressures of adding more and more material to the curriculum. Just keeping up with technology can be a challenge in itself. At the same time, business, industry, and society are telling us that our teaching is vastly overrated, irrelevant and ineffective.
Several interesting approaches have been suggested in literature to address this age-old situation. It is not about teaching strategies, it is more a tactical approach to teaching. Although it is true that there are problems with universities, facilities, and preparation of faculty and students; and someone should be looking at the big picture; it is also true we are here, now. What can we do today?
It can generally be assumed that new engineering educators are technically well prepared, have a thorough knowledge of the field of study, and have some reasonable depth of experience in the subject matter beyond the current course. It is even likely that they are excited about the field, and find it quite interesting, challenging, and compelling.
It is also assumed that they have a sincere interest in teaching, that they spend considerable time preparing a syllabus, reviewing the text, developing the lectures and classroom experience, putting together meaningful assignments, and spending countless hours assessing and grading student work.
But there's more to teaching than just subject matter and delivery. It is also likely, if they have already spent some time teaching a college course, that they have felt the frustration of not being as effective as a teacher as they had imagined and hoped for. This new teacher may not be perceived as technically competent or caring by the students. The students may not feel they are receiving the education they expected and are paying for.
Students are quite a varied bunch. Consider that they do not all have the same background, they have not all acquired the same amount of knowledge of the prerequisite and subject material, they do not have the same ability to learn, they do not have the same expectations of the course. Students have vastly different understanding of what being an engineer means; they have different
"Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education"
Krahe, R. (2003, June), Teach Less Better Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12044
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