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From Lecturer to Cognitive Coach

  • May 17, 2016|
  • 2 years ago

by Eric Westervelt


Article excerpt

A Nobel Laureate's Education Plea: Revolutionize Teaching

Wieman sees himself as a kind of cognitive coach rather than the classic “sage on the stage,” delivering knowledge. His lecturing, such as it is, is merely to prime the undergrads to grapple with the concepts and key questions on their own and try to figure out what’s important — or not.

Our take

Can “Cognitive Coaches” Drive Better Learning Outcomes?

There’s nothing “active” about sitting at a desk and listening to an instructor drone on and on—regardless of the subject matter. The traditional college lecture is an ineffective form of thinking says Nobel laureate Carl Wieman. A better alternative? Evidence-based, or “active learning” methods that get students more engaged and involved in the learning process.

For teachers who have long sought to create engaging and participative learning environments, introducing approaches that are based more on problem-solving can boost engagement, and learning, says a Nobel laureate who has tested the hypothesis. Any subject can lend itself to opportunities for teachers, at both the K-12 and higher ed levels, to move beyond “sage on the stage” to a more “cognitive coach role.