Pie-in-sky methods? 2

January 23, 2003

Richard Benefer writes that many students like being taught (Letters, THES , January 10). Sure they do, it allows three of them to doze while the fourth, coerced, member of the group writes his/her interpretation of the lecturer's words.

Many years ago, I attended the lectures of that fine zoologist C. C. Hentschel at Chelsea Polytechnic, London. Without notes and using just a bunch of coloured chalks, he lectured on, for example, the dissection of the dogfish. He drew on the blackboard a diagram of the dissection, explaining as he went, until a perfect representation of the dissected fish appeared before our eyes. But then came the crunch. I had to do the dissection in the laboratory. That was when I really learnt its anatomy.

A student once asked me if I would learn him something. He was right. After some 50 years at the chalkface, I regard teaching as the privilege of opening windows for willing learners, based on one's own hard work at mastering the subject. But they have to do the work.

Francis Diggins
Bexhill-on-Sea

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments