Home > Math Lint Archive Detail

<< Prev 11/14/2010 Next >>

Teach Naked?

Josť A. Bowen, a Southern Methodist University Dean, is on a rampage. He openly discourages professors from using PowerPoint in lieu of active student discussions, challenging the professors to "teach naked"...and has removed all computers from classrooms.

The underlying research is controversial. In a survey by British researchers, 59% of the university students reported that "at least half of their lectures were boring, and that PowerPoint was one of the dullest methods they saw."

The odd thing is that PowerPoint presentations are considered better than professors' use of blackboards or un-decipherable hand-written overheads.

But it is a no-win situation, as the students themselves are the biggest dissenters to Bowen's approach.

Why? Because they consider the lecture model comfortable, with or without Powerpoints. Given the other option of active student discussions and debates, the students "groused about taking a more active role."

Guess the next step to gain student attention is to actually teach naked!

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, July 24, 2009, p. A1