Friday, July 23, 2010

A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Listening

A recent post by Maryellen Weimer, on her Teaching Professor Blog, was about various principles of teaching proposed by Ronald Markert (reference below). Of the principles outlined, one really caught my attention:

"Good teachers do not talk as much as the less effective colleagues do--Good teachers talk less because their students are talking more."

This principle reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about teaching:

"Teaching is listening, learning is talking" by Deborah Meier.

I used this quote once in a workshop and received some push back from a few faculty members because they believed this statement about teaching is too simplistic. I understand their point, especially in terms of established disciplinary styles of teaching. In any event, I think all teachers should do a little less talking and a lot more listening.

Please give us your thoughts by clicking "comments" at the bottom of this post.

Reference: Markert, Ronald J. (August 2001). What makes a good teacher? Lessons from teaching medical students. Academic Medicine, 76 (8), 809-810.


Anonymous said...

Students can resent getting less lecture. Why? Because in a talking heads lecture what they are expected to know is most often more about memorization than application.

Anonymous said...

I have a teacher who doesn't talk very much. There's little to no lecture at all in her class.

Most of class is "What do you think about what you read?"

Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE discussion. I want to make it happen a lot. But, at the same time, I came to college to learn from experts in the field. If all I wanted to do was make my own opinions, I wouldn't have come here. I can do that at home. I want to know the teachers ideas some where in the discussion.