2/15 Engaging the Imagination

In “Four Things Lecture is Good For,” Robert Talbert argues that for all things there is a season; a time to lecture and a time to not lecture. Although I agree with his list of suitable occasions, I would argue that there are many opportunities to use lecture-like strategies and tactics without becoming a sage on the stage.

For Example, I teach philosophy, and philosophy is difficult to understand. It is conceptually dense, rigorously argumentative, and by and large, a subject that follows lines of reasoning that are very foreign to most individuals. That being said, lecture, at least at the introductory level, is crucial for learning. Thus, I might lecture for ten or fifteen minutes and then take a break to discuss the material with my students. During this break, questions are asked and clarifications are made. It is also an opportunity for students to engage with other students, either to argue against or affirm the author’s or another classmate’s perspective. Towards the end of the semester, when the students become more accustomed to the oddity that is philosophy, the need to lecture, even for short periods of time, diminishes.

Thus, I think that there is a middle ground where lecturing is definitely utilized, but utilized sparingly, so as to more effectively engage the students.

About Darren Jackson

I'm a Ph.D. candidate in ASPECT (Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) at Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg, VA.
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1 Response to 2/15 Engaging the Imagination

  1. nadaberrada says:

    In the French educational system, most of the undergraduate learning is primarily focused on lecturing. It is viewed to be necessary for students to learn how to take notes and listen to the lecturer. Whereas in the American system is mostly centered around interaction. It’s interesting how different educational systems perceive lecturing.


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